World Economy

World Stocks Reach Milestone

World Stocks Reach MilestoneWorld Stocks Reach Milestone

World equity markets tested record highs on hopes of more stimulus from top central banks, while the dollar strengthened on favorable government debt yields compared to those of most other developed countries.

Wall Street scored solid gains after US conglomerate General Electric Co. said it plans to sell assets and buy back up to $50 billion of its stock. This propelled GE shares to their highest since September 2008, ending up 10.8 percent at $28.51 in heavy volume, Reuters reported.

Gold rose on the day but snapped a three-week winning streak on a stronger dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 98.92 points, or 0.55 percent, to 18,057.65, the S&P 500 ended up 10.88 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,102.06 and the Nasdaq Composite finished 21.41 points, or 0.43 percent, higher at 4,995.98.

Buoyed by gains in Asia and the renewed drop in the euro, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index reached a 15-year high of over 1,640 as its ninth week of rises in the last 10 took it to its highest since 2000. Germany’s DAX also scored a record high.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, rose 0.4 percent to 435.72, a shade below its record high.

Subdued Chinese inflation readings fueled talk of additional stimulus from Beijing, while another slip in U.S. import prices slipped in March, supporting the case for the Federal Reserve to hold off on raising interest rates until the third quarter.

Ten-year US Treasuries rose 1/32 in price, dropping the yield to 1.953 percent, reducing its weekly rise to 11 basis points, the biggest in five weeks.

The dollar was heading for its best week since 2011 against a basket of other topcurrencies as the euro limped to its worst since 2011 and sterling slumped to a five-year low after poor UK industrial production data.

An index that measures the greenback against the euro, yen and other major currencieswas up 0.2 percent at 99.361, marking a weekly increase of 2.92 percent.