Global stocks nudge higher, sustained by bottomless stimulus
Global shares rose for a ninth day running on Thursday, just off record highs, as investors digested recent gains and sustained by the promise of more free money after a benign US inflation report and a dovish Federal Reserve outlook.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, was 0.1% higher. That was not far from peaks reached the day before and just sustaining a nine-day streak of gains, a first since October 2017.
“The story really is still US equities first and foremost,” said James Athey, investment director at Aberdeen Standard Investments. “Earnings season has been especially strong in the US, the fiscal stimulus coming from the Biden administration is getting bigger in the market’s mind and most of the big winners from the pandemic are U.S. listed.
“Only the Fed can rock the boat and with yesterday’s disappointing inflation print that prospect has just slipped even further into the future.”
The outlook for more global stimulus got a major boost overnight from a surprisingly soft reading on core US inflation, which eased to 1.4% in January.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he wanted to see inflation reach 2% or more before even thinking of tapering the bank’s super-easy policies.