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Stocks rise on reopening momentum in Europe, US

·3-min read

European and US equities rallied Thursday on optimism about the economic recovery from Covid-19 as markets continued to weigh the risk of higher inflation and a possible shift in monetary policy.

Bourses in London, Paris and Frankfurt all gained at least one percent as EU member states reached a deal paving the way for a Covid-19 certificate to open up travel in Europe, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris announced plans to reopen in July.

"The more upbeat tone in Europe comes as authorities across the region are easing pandemic restrictions due to a falling number of Covid cases and rising vaccine rates," said OANDA analyst Sophie Griffiths.

Wall Street also had a good day, shrugging off three straight losing sessions and finishing solidly higher following data showing a drop in jobless claims.

Tech shares led the broader market as investors weighed chances that the Federal Reserve could move soon to scale back asset purchases and shift away from highly accommodative monetary policy.

Fed minutes released Wednesday showed some officials believe the US economy may soon be healthy enough to taper asset purchases, one of the first signs of a shift in the central bank's easy money policies.

"I think there has been so much discussion about it that the odds are pretty good that it's discounted in the market," Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors said of a possible shift in Fed policy.

"I think it's inevitable and I hope they take the action," she added.

Bitcoin rose above $40,000 after Wednesday's wild gyrations that saw the world's most popular cryptocurrency lose almost a third of its value in one day before recovering much of the losses.

ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada warned however that "it remains to be seen whether the recovery will hold."

Oil fell further meanwhile, on speculation that a new nuclear agreement with Iran could pave the way for an increase in Iranian oil production.

Among individual companies, Ford jumped 3.1 percent after officially unveiling the all-electric version of its bestselling F-150 truck, an eco-friendly reinvention of the flagship American car brand.

Morgan Stanley advanced 0.5 percent as it announced a series of executive promotions for potential successors to Chief Executive James Gorman. These include promoting Ted Pick and Andy Saperstein as co-presidents.

- Key figures around 2030 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 34,084.15 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 1.1 percent at 4,159.12 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.8 percent at 13,535.74 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.0 percent at 7,019.79 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.7 percent at 15,370.26 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.3 percent at 6,343.58 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.6 percent at 3,999.91 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 28,098.25 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.5 percent at 28,450.29 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,506.94 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2232 from $1.2175 at 2100 GMT on Wednesday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.4187 from $1.4115

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.19 pence from 86.25 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.80 yen from 109.22 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.3 percent at $65.11 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.1 percent at $62.05 per barrel

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