Global stocks hit record highs on strong economic data

Global stocks hit record highs and Treasuries rebounded after the release of bullish US economic data and assurances that the Federal Reserve would continue to support financial markets.

US retail sales in March grew the most in 10 months while the number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits fell from 193,000 last week to 576,000, exceeding economists’ expectations for 700,000 new claims.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 was up 1% to a new high, while the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite gained 1.2% by afternoon in New York City, with equity markets also supported by strong quarterly results. The FTSE All-World index of developed and emerging market stocks rose 0.8 percent to a record high.

The rally in equities came as U.S. government debt rallied, as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield slipped 0.1 percentage point to 1.53% in its largest daily decline since November of l ‘last year. Bond prices rise when yields fall.

The T-bill shake followed comments by Fed Chairman Jay Powell on Wednesday night that the central bank would maintain its asset purchase program until “substantial progress” was made towards full employment in the United States. But bond investors expressed some bemusement at the size of the rally in Treasuries on Thursday, especially given the sheer amount of economic data this week.

“We were surprised that stronger economic data didn’t help move things forward,” said Oliver Blackbourn, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson.

After long-standing Treasuries recently posted the worst quarterly performance since 1980, Blackbourn said the market needed to “take a break.”

“The market has evolved very quickly,” he added. In January, the 10-year Treasury yield hovered around 0.9 percent.

Others mentioned that the geopolitical rise voltage between Russia and the United States and heightened uncertainty over vaccine deployment, with the continued pause in the J&J jab, has pushed up demand for U.S. government debt further.

For stock markets, economic data, associated with what looks to be a American banks and asset managers, seem to have brought nothing but good news.

The Bank of America on Thursday produced quarterly results that beat analysts’ forecasts and announced a $ 25 billion share buyback. BlackRock Fund Manager revealed its assets under management had reached a record high of $ 9 billion, beating analysts’ earnings estimates. These updates followed solid results Goldman Sachs Wednesday.

“Any word you can think of that can be synonymous with ‘strong’ is what we’re getting for US data, not just today but over the past two weeks,” said Gargi Chaudhuri, chief strategy officer of investment from iShares, Americas. , at BlackRock.

In Europe, the regional Stoxx 600 index closed 0.5% higher, eclipsing last week’s high, while London’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.6% and Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax rose 0.6%. climbed 0.3%.

The dollar, measured against a basket of currencies, was stable. Brent, the international oil benchmark, climbed 0.4% to $ 66.80 a barrel, its highest level in nearly a month after the Paris-based International Energy Agency. raised its demand forecast for this year.

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