World stocks at fresh highs

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GMT - 3 Hours World stocks at fresh highs

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:57 pm

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LONDON: World shares hit fresh 30-month highs on Friday, driven by bullish views of both economic growth and corporate earnings, although gains were threatened by rising oil prices linked to Middle East tension.

Brent crude rose above $103 a barrel, as unrest spreading across the Middle East fanned fears of a supply disruption in the major oil-producing region.

U.S. crude fell, but held above $86 a barrel, after jumping more than $1.00 the previous day.

There appeared little, however, to disrupt a global rally in stocks that has driven world shares up around 5 percent, with developed market indexes such as the U.S. S&P 500, Japanese Nikkei 225 and European FTSEurofirst 300 gaining more than 6 percent.

The MSCI all-country world stock index was up 0.1 percent having earlier hit a new 30-month high.

"There is just a greater conviction in the more promising outlook in global economic growth," said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin.

"We are moving from recovery phase to a sustainable expansion."

The FTSEurofirst 300 was flat after rising for five consecutive sessions.

An example of the growth-related drive came from France's Lafarge which rose after it predicted stronger cement demand in its markets this year thanks to rapid expansion in emerging countries.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei closed up with tiny gains.

Investors, meanwhile, were keeping an eye on a Group of 20 central bank meeting ahead of a larger two-day event which appears set to struggle to make headway on an ambitious French agenda.

On foreign exchange markets, the euro slipped due to ongoing speculation European officials will struggle to agree on how to solve euro zone debt problems, while the dollar recovered losses as investors took a breather from selling before a U.S. market holiday. The euro traded 0.1 percent lower on the day at $1.3580.

Sterling meanwhile rose against both currencies on market talk that another member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee had moved into the hawks' camp by voting for a rate rise in February. Minutes of the February meeting, at which the bank left rates on hold at a record low of 0.5 percent despite rising inflation, are due for release on Wednesday.(Reuters)
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