World Economy

World Stocks See Best Start in Eight Years

World Stocks See Best Start in Eight YearsWorld Stocks See Best Start in Eight Years

World stock markets hovered close to all-time highs on Monday as the best start to a year in eight years showed little sign of running out of steam, with the combination of strong global growth and low inflation powering the appetite for risk.

European stocks jumped by as much as 0.4%, hitting their highest levels since August 2015, before easing slightly, Reuters reported.

A surprise dip in German industrial orders, which fell in November for the first time since July, appeared unlikely to dent growing confidence in the eurozone’s biggest economy after a strong run of positive economic news.

The strong showing in European markets followed Asia, where benchmarks inched towards all-time peaks. Wall Street last week had posted its best start to a year in more than a decade; Friday’s US jobs report, while weaker than expected, encouraged hopes that brisk growth and low inflation can be sustained this year.

The world index was flat, just below record highs. It has gained 2.5% in the first five trading sessions of the year, its best start since 2010, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The US dollar partly recovered on Monday after a weak start to the year, strengthening past $1.20 against the euro, although with bearish positions against the greenback high, many traders are betting on a stronger single currency.

Against a basket of currencies the dollar was up 0.31% but close to its weakest level since September.

Eurozone blue chip stocks were up 0.23%, with France’s CAC 40 ahead by 0.3% and Germany’s DAX by 0.31%.

In US markets, Wall Street’s best start to a year in more than a decade included the Dow rising 2.3% last week and the S&P 500 2.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq soared 3.4%.

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