Shares hit 2-week highs on US data, Ukraine calm

. Early gains of 0.3 to 0.7 per cent for London’s FTSE Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC lifted the region’s shares to their highest March 12.



By Marc Jones (Reuters)

Published: Thu 27 Mar 2014, 9:10 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:26 PM

European and Asian shares climbed to two-week highs on Wednesday, with investor confidence getting a welcome boost from upbeat US data, talk of fresh central bank stimulus and diminishing concern over Ukraine.

European stocks picked up where Asia left off. Early gains of 0.3 to 0.7 per cent for London’s FTSE Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC lifted the region’s shares to their highest March 12.

After a difficult few weeks in which tension between Russia and the West amplified jitters about a slowing Chinese economy and future US interest rates hikes, investors appear to be regaining their poise.

“Concerns around the three C’s (cold, Crimea, China) are dropping off as the effect of the US winter subsides, the Crimean conflict is no longer affecting markets and China has seen stimulation bets ramping up,” Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG, said in a note.

Investor relief was palpable in Russia, where the rouble firmed to pre-Crimea crisis levels. It added 0.4 per cent to Tuesday’s 1.5 per cent jump against the dollar-euro basket , its biggest gain in 1 ½ years. The MSCI emerging equities index also rose to a two-week high. Stocks from Poland to Turkey rose more than one per cent after Brazilian shares touched five-week highs, despite a downgrade of Brazil’s credit rating by rating firm Standard & Poor’s.

The euro dipped to $1.3794 against a broadly stronger dollar. The single currency was being weighed down by Tuesday’s talk of unconventional easing by some of the European Central Bank’s normally more conservative members.

The Australian dollar rose to a four-month high of $0.9227. Other major currencies were stuck in well-worn ranges, with the yen changing hands at 102.29 yen to the dollar.

Precious metals steadied. Gold climbed back to $1,313.20 per ounce from a five-week low of $1,305.59 on Tuesday. Silver recovered from a seven-week low to $19.78 per ounce.


More news from Markets