Stocks near all-time highs

Top Stories

Stocks near all-time highs

Dollar inches up on Yellen hopes, Greek breather of reforms

By (Agencies)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:48 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:52 PM

London — World shares held near record highs on Tuesday after Greece produced a list of proposed economic reforms, and the dollar rose on expectations Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen would signal the Fed was still moving towards raising interest rates.

European stocks headed for six days of gains after Greece delivered its proposed reforms to the Eurogroup, the eurozone’s finance ministers. If the list is approved, Greece will get a four-month extension of its financial lifeline.

Greece’s stock market, which was closed on Monday, 8.3 per cent to 925.12 at 2:37pm, with a gauge of banks rallying 14 per cent. The ASE was heading for its highest close since December 8.

Greek, Italian and Spanish bond yields all nudged lower as the latest bout of eurozone break-up jitters eased.

Despite Greece’s move, the euro weakened and the dollar gained. The greenback gained 0.6 per cent to 119.54 yen and was last up roughly 0.2 per cent against the euro at $1.1303. US 10-year Treasury yields held around 2.08 per cent, compared with last week’s high of 2.1640 per cent.

Modest 0.2 per cent gains for European shares took the benchmark FTSEurofirst 300 index to a seven-year high, although investors were reluctant to make any big bets before Yellen testifies.

Better-than-expected results from mining giant BHP Billiton helped London’s FTSE stay in reach of its 1999 record high.

Germany’s DAX hovered at its own peak as Telefonica Deutschland raised cost-cut estimates from its E-Plus buy.

Encouraged by the expected debt deal, Greek bond yields fell 300 basis points and stocks rose to a 2-1/2-month high.

Some investors remained cautious. Ioan Smith, managing director of KCG Europe, noted the deal would only give Athens four months of breathing space.

Asian share markets had crept higher overnight. Tokyo reached another 15-year peak and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended flat.

Brent crude oil reversed early losses to trade back above $59 a barrel on Tuesday as Libya’s largest oilfield stopped production, and as traders awaited US oil inventory data to see whether it would show another large increase. Brent futures for April were up 55 cents at $59.45 a barrel by 1227 GMT, recovering from an earlier low of $58.10. US crude was up 21 cents at $49.66.

Gold fell to near a seven-week low of just below $1,200 an ounce. Expectations the Fed will raise rates this year have curbed gold’s safe-haven appeal in recent weeks.

“With a healthy US economy, that gives the impetus for the Fed to start normalising interest rates and this is a very bearish signal for gold,” said OCBC Bank analyst Barnabas Gan, who sees gold at $1,000 an ounce by the year-end.

Sensex climbs

Most Indian stocks advanced in a volatile trading session as consumer and engineering companies climbed before the federal budget and expiry of the monthly derivative contracts later this week.

ITC and Hindustan Unilever were among the best performers on the S&P BSE Sensex. Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Heavy Electricals gained at least one per cent.

Three stocks rose for every two that fell on the Sensex, which added 0.1 per cent to 29,004.66 after swinging between a gain of 0.5 per cent and a loss of 0.3 per cent. The gauge has risen 5.5 per cent this year on optimism Prime Minister Narendra Modi will use his government’s first full-year budget on February 28 to improve infrastructure, boost manufacturing and cut food subsidies. 

More news from