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Stocks rise as bullish sentiment continues

·4-min read
Stock prices moved higher on Wall Street, and sentiment was even more positive in Europe (AFP/Angela Weiss)

World stock markets rose on Monday as positive economic data and anticipation of more to come later this week fueled bullish sentiment.

The three major Wall Street indices ended at new records after making slight gains from Friday's all-time highs, while in Europe, positive sentiment pushed markets in Frankfurt, London and Paris up less than one percent.

"It still seems to be a temperate, if not hot, climate for stocks in what is often a seasonally warm period," said Patrick J. O'Hare of Briefing.com.

Also on traders' minds is the US Federal Reserve meeting which is expected to produce a long-awaited change to stimulus policies, as well as key employment data set for release Friday that will show whether the world's largest economy is overcoming the Delta variant.

The equity performances in the first session of the week were "not bad, considering central banks around the world are having a small panic about inflation and planning multiple rate hikes over the next year or so," OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said .

"In the past, the idea of this has sent shockwaves through the markets and that was when economies were in a far healthier position."

In Asia, markets similarly ended the day in positive territory, with Tokyo's main stocks index closing 2.6 percent higher after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida won a strong majority in a weekend general election, giving him the freedom to push through a big spending program to kick-start the stuttering economy.

- Inflation outlook -

The yen neared a four-year low against the dollar with Japan seemingly not on course to tighten monetary policy in the short term.

This is in contrast to the Federal Reserve, which on Wednesday is expected to announce plans to begin slowing the monthly bond purchases that were meant to ease US lending conditions.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has made clear the central bank will not raise interest rates until tapering is completed, but investors will nonetheless be paying attention to his latest views on the country's rapid price increases.

"Given (the beginning of tapering) is well expected, more interest is likely to be in Chair Powell's press conference and whether this hints the Fed is becoming less comfortable with the inflation picture and whether they are starting to see the case for multiple hikes in 2022 as the market is pricing," said National Australia Bank's Rodrigo Catril.

The Bank of England is tipped to lift rates this week, following in the footsteps of other financial authorities in South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore, among others.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Shanghai markets fell after China released data showing factory activity contracted more than expected in October owing to a supply crunch, rising input costs and new lockdowns to fight another Covid outbreak.

The reading will add further pressure on Beijing to provide more support for the world's number-two economy, but authorities have to tread a fine line as they battle to contain inflation.

- Key figures around 2020 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 35,913.84 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 4,613.67 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.6 percent at 15,595.91 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,288.62 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.8 percent at 15,806.29 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.9 percent at 6,893.29 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.7 percent at 4,280.47 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.6 percent at 29,647.08 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.9 percent at 25,154.32 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,544.48 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1604 from $1.1556 at 2030 GMT on Friday

Euro/pound: UP at 84.96 pence from 84.44 pence

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3658 from $1.3685

Dollar/yen: UP at 114.00 from 114.03 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.0 percent at $84.54 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.5 percent at $83.96

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