December 20, 2014
Global stocks climb higher as investors chase performance
Major stock indexes in Germany and the United States hit all-time highs after data bolstered expectations that Germany has returned to growth, while Australia reminded markets that accommodative policies from central banks have room to run.
Adding to the upbeat mood, a successful bond sale in Portugal indicated the country is on track to exit its bailout.
The Reserve Bank of Australia surprised markets with a cut in interest rates to a record low, highlighting the pressure a stubbornly high currency is putting on the resource-exporting economy.
The euro firmed against most currencies following strong data on German industrial orders, but bets on further monetary easing at the European Central Bank kept gains in check.
Germany, Europe's largest economy, reported a 2.2 percent rise in industrial orders in March, compared with expectations for a 0.5 percent drop.
Frankfurt's DAX became the first of the major European indexes to breach the record high set in 2007, following in the footsteps of the U.S. S&P 500, which has been setting record highs since mid-April.
MSCI's global index topped its June 2008 high after Japan's stock market, which had been closed on Monday, soared in a delayed reaction to Friday's strong U.S. jobs data. The global index was up 0.7 percent at 373.58.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 touched an intraday record high of 1,626.03 and the Dow industrials closed above 15,000 for the first time.
After the closing bell in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 87.31 points, or 0.58 percent, at 15,056.2, the S&P 500 gained 8.46 points or 0.52 percent, to 1,625.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.66 points or 0.11 percent, to 3,396.63.
Meanwhile, the Nikkei average jumped 3.6 percent to break above 14,000 for the first time in nearly five years, with exporters leading the gains after last week's strong US jobs data eased concerns over the health of Japan's major export market. The Nikkei gained 486.20 points to 14,180.24, its highest closing level since June 2008.