Global stocks held near an all-time high and the euro was on track for its best month in nine years as strong US data and corporate earnings along with the Federal Reserve’s commitment to support the economy fueled investor risk appetite.
MSCI’s broadest measure of global equities spanning 50 markets (.MIWD00000PUS) fell 0.1% but remained near a record high touched the previous day, up 5% on the month.
In Europe, Euro Stoxx (.STOXX) futures were flat and the UK FTSE 100 (.FTSE) traded up 0.2%.
US equity futures fell 0.3% after the S&P 500 (.SPX) closed to a record high.
“The Federal Reserve continues to support, Biden also has this huge stimulus package and the earnings season continues – so far we’ve seen relatively benign and strong earnings,” said Eddie Cheng, head of international management. multi-asset portfolios at Wells Fargo Asset Management.
Data on Thursday showed US economic growth accelerated in the first quarter, fueled by massive government assistance to households and businesses. Read more
This came against the backdrop of the Federal Reserve’s assurance on Wednesday that it was not yet time to start discussing any changes in its easy monetary policy. Read more
With just over half of S&P 500 companies reporting profits, about 87% exceeded market expectations, according to Refinitiv, the highest level in recent years.
For the MSCI World Index and the S & P500, analysts expect profits for the next 12 months to recover to levels above pre-pandemic levels.
Preliminary eurozone GDP data at 9:00 GMT, meanwhile, is expected to show a 2% drop in the first quarter, according to a Reuters poll, which would mean a dip into a technical recession, Commerzbank analysts say.
“However, the light is brighter and brighter at the end of the tunnel,” they added.
“The speed of vaccinations is accelerating and the EU stimulus fund is finally getting underway.”
France, the eurozone’s second-largest economy, experienced stronger-than-expected growth in the first quarter, although first-quarter GDP for Germany’s largest economy fell more than expected on a seasonally adjusted basis. Read more
The 10-year German Bund yield, which moves inversely to price, slipped 0.009% to -0.202%.
New coronavirus infections in India have reached a new high and the French Minister of Health has said the dangers of the Indian variant should not be underestimated. Read more
“Risky assets have seen a few swings during the month,” Cheng said.
“We have to get used to the fact that it won’t be a straight line.”
The euro extended its bull run to a two-month high of $ 1.2150 in the previous session and it last stood at $ 1.2100, down 0.15%. With gains of 3.2% so far this month, the single currency is on track for its biggest monthly rise in nine months.
The dollar was stable against the yen at 108.86. It gained 0.13% against a basket of currencies, after hitting a two-month low on Thursday.
The Canadian dollar hit a three-year high of C $ 1.22680 per US unit, driven by the gradual reduction in its bond purchase program by the Bank of Canada and by rising commodities, particularly the petroleum and wood.
In Asia, the MSCI ex-Japan index fell 0.9% (.MIAPJ0000PUS), following a more moderate-than-expected survey of Chinese manufacturing.
The Chinese tech giant’s Hong Kong-listed shares also fell when Beijing summoned 13 internet platforms to order them to step up regulatory compliance, weighing on the Hang Seng Index (.HSI). Read more
Mainland China stocks (.CSI300) lost 0.8% while Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) also lost 0.8% on position adjustments ahead of a long weekend. Both markets will be closed until Wednesday. Read more
Oil prices have taken a break after hitting six-week highs on strong US economic data, amid concerns over wider lockdowns in India and Brazil.
Brent slipped 0.54% to $ 68.19 a barrel, after hitting a high of $ 68.95 on Thursday, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 0.78% to 64, $ 50 per barrel.
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.