World

Global shares rise as Dow cracks 30,000 for first time

Investors cheer start of Biden transition and prospect of vaccines

LONDON: Global shares yesterday hit highs and were on course for their best month ever after the Dow Jones Industrial Average had cracked 30,000 for the first time ever on Tuesday.

After crossing the threshold in mid-day trading, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated slightly, but was up 1.3 per cent at 29,987.06 around 1930 GMT (3.30am yesterday, Singapore time).

The broad-based S&P 500 also gained 1.5 per cent to 3,632.31, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.2 per cent to 12,022.31.

Investors were cheering the prospect of a smooth handover of power after the US presidential election, and were confident Covid-19 vaccines would soon be ready.

Reports that Mr Biden planned to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, potentially easing the passage of a fiscal-stimulus package to counter Covid-19 damage, also cheered markets.

The renewed demand for shares pushed MSCI's broadest gauge of world stocks to a record high of 622.12. It was last trading flat, on course for a record monthly gain.

The Euro STOXX 600 TOXX made early gains to near nine-month highs before pulling back 0.3 per cent.

"The world is going to look a lot better this time next year, and that's what equity markets are reflecting," said Mr Mike Bell, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

"The fact is the outlook has dramatically changed in the last month."

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare recognised the latest Washington developments as "another excuse" for the market to rally in a holiday-shortened week when positive momentum is driving a "fear of missing out" trend.

The rally for global stocks is set to continue for at least six months, a Reuters poll forecast yesterday.

Singapore shares ended in the red yesterday, having given up their gains from earlier on in the trading day as investor optimism waned.

The benchmark Straits Times Index closed 0.8 per cent or 22.08 points lower at 2,869.55, with decliners outnumbering advancers 288 to 227 after 3.31 billion securities worth some $2.41 billion changed hands. - REUTERS, AFP

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