World shares rebound after two-day losses on Fed fears

LONDON - Stocks rebounded on Friday after two days of losses sparked by fears the US Federal Reserve would abandon its super-easy monetary policy sooner than many in the markets were predicting.

By Pan Pylas (AP)

Published: Sat 23 Feb 2013, 9:04 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:51 AM

A solid German economic survey also shored up trading through the European session. The Ifo index rose to 107.4 in February from 104.3 the previous month. It was the fourth monthly increase in a row and well above the 104.9 points expected by financial market analysts.

“The Ifo index now looks consistent with annual German GDP growth of around two per cent,” said Jennifer McKeown, a senior European economist at Capital Economics.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.7 per cent at 6,338 while Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 per cent to 7,651. The CAC-40 in France was 1.6 per cent higher at 3,682.

Wall Street was poised for a solid opening with Dow futures up 0.3 per cent and the broader S&P 500 futures 0.4 per cent higher.

The pick-up comes after a sizeable sell-off, which started in the second half of Wall Street’s trading session on Wednesday following the release of the minutes to the last policy meeting of the Fed.

The minutes showed some policymakers worried about the cost of the bank’s monetary stimulus, which triggered speculation that the asset purchases it has been conducting would end sooner than anticipated. The purchases, commonly known as quantitative easing, are designed to boost the US economy, partly by increasing liquidity in financial markets and by keeping a lid on interest rates in the bond markets.

Those concerns remain about future US monetary policy remains. And others have the potential to bring an end to the prevailing optimism that has marked 2013 out so far in the markets.

This weekend’s Italian elections could stoke renewed worries over Europe’s debt crisis especially if there is a protracted period before a government is formed. Fears over the US budget are also never far from the surface.

Earlier, the Asian heavyweight, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index, recovered to gain 0.7 per cent to 11,385.94. The region’s biggest economy, China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 per cent to 2,314.15. Elsewhere, Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.2 per cent to 2,018.89 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.5 per cent to 22,782.44.

In currency markets, the euro was down 0.1 per cent at $1.3179 while the dollar fell the same rate to ¥93.20.

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