World Economy

World Stocks Heading for Best Week

World Stocks Heading for Best Week
World Stocks Heading for Best Week

World stocks drifted toward their best week in six on Friday, as a near three-year high in emerging markets shares and a roaring rally in metals bolstered the year’s global bull run.

Moves were tight ahead of speeches later by Federal Reserve and European Central Bank heads Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi at one of the highlights of central banking calendar, the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, symposium, Reuters reported.

European shares gave up an early push higher though London’s FTSE did hold modest gains supported by its heavyweight mining contingent and the pound’s fourth straight weekly fall. A weaker sterling flatters the appearance internationally-earned profits.

The dollar meanwhile added to its best week against the Japanese yen in seven as it hovered at 109.64 yen.

The dollar’s strength on the day also grounded the high-flying euro which has had another strong week and is now at its highest against the pound in eight years barring sterling’s ‘flash’ crash last October.

“Our current assessment of the overall risk and reward picture keeps us overweight global equities in our tactical asset allocation,” UBS Wealth Management chief investment officer, Mark Haefele, said in a monthly note.

“Earnings and economic growth are strong enough, and central bank policy is still sufficiently loose to suggest that, in the absence of a shock, markets are likely to trend higher over the next six months.”

Emerging markets have been a strong driver of the global stocks rise this year.

MSCI’s 24-country EM index hit a near three year high on Friday. Asia-Pacific shares ended the week 1.6% higher, having shrugged off an overnight dip on Wall Street as a rift between US President Donald Trump and Congress over the country’s debt level rumbled on.

Industrial metals were heading for a dazzling week. Copper remained near a three-year high hit on Thursday on signs of stronger demand in top consumer China while inventories in London warehouses fell.

Nickel CMNI3 which is used in stainless steel was up more than 6% for the week and benchmark Chinese iron ore futures were up for an eighth straight week.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 0.7% to $47.75 a barrel, and global benchmark Brent advanced 0.7% to $52.41. They had fallen as much as 2% on Thursday as refiners in the path of Hurricane Harvey shuttered production. Harvey is packing winds of up to 200 km per hour, and is forecast to drive a surge in sea levels as high as 3.7 meters and dump up to 97 cm of rain over parts of Texas.

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