Stock markets enjoy Fed-fuelled rally

GMT 15:51 2016 Saturday ,19 March

Arab Today, arab today Stock markets enjoy Fed-fuelled rally

World stocks mostly rose Friday, boosted by the lingering effects
London - AFP

World stocks mostly rose Friday, boosted by the lingering effects of the US Federal Reserve's lower interest rate outlook and firmer oil prices but Tokyo sank as a surging yen hit Japan's exporters.

The Fed's decision earlier this week to peg back its forecasts on hiking rates -- citing global turmoil and weak growth -- has been greeted with relief across most trading floors.

Frankfurt, London and Paris stock markets were all marginally higher in mid afternoon European trade.

Wall Street opened just shy of half a percent up.

The Fed's announcement Wednesday has also provided a boost for emerging market currencies and sent the dollar tumbling, which in turn provided a boost to dollar-priced crude oil, which has surged above 40 per barrel.

"Wednesday's dovish note by the Federal Reserve may be continuing to lend support to global equity markets," said analyst Tony Cross at traders Trustnet Direct.

- 'Rising tide lifts boats' -

The prospect of ultra-low interest rates buoys stock markets because it boosts spending in the world's biggest economy, dealers said.

"Lowered interest rate expectations have sent global stock markets higher because low interest rates traditionally encourage spending, the rising tide lifting all boats," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

He added: "From a specifically US perspective, inaction from the Fed, especially coupled with a fairly dovish outlook, helps temper the dollar."

In Asia, Hong Kong ended up 0.8 percent, Shanghai closed 1.7-percent higher and Sydney gained 0.3 percent by the end. Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Manila also enjoyed healthy advances.

However, Tokyo finished 1.3 percent lower as the yen pushed towards levels not seen since late 2014 with the prospect of low US returns and dim global growth making the safe-haven Japanese unit more attractive.

Meanwhile, the strength of the yen has rattled Japanese central bankers who in January announced a shock decision to take interest rates into negative territory as they struggle to kickstart inflation and economic growth.

"There's concern for exporters' earnings," Nobuyuki Fujimoto, a senior market analyst at SBI Securities Co. in Tokyo, said.

"If the yen's trading around 114 to the dollar than companies will expect profits next fiscal year, but when it's 110, most exporters will post losses."

- Key figures around 1340 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 6,208.86 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 9,901.02 points

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 4,455.30 points

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,050.71 points

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.3 percent at 16,724.81 (close)

Shanghai - composite: UP 1.7 percent at 2,955.15 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.8 percent at 20,671.63 (close)

New York - Dow: UP 0.5 percent at 17,565.86 points

Euro/dollar: DOWN at 1.1288 from 1.1317 on Thursday

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.59 yen from 111.44 yen


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