World stock markets climbed strongly on Thursday, with investors basking in the afterglow of a break past 20,000 points for Wall Street's record high Dow Jones index. David Pollard reports.
Could this be a glimpse of an alternative universe - a world where the normal rules don't apply? Where - for all the talk of global trade wars - US stock markets know no limits? SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "They believe that their taxes are going to be cut, companies are going to see a huge amount of beneficial government spending heading their way, that they'll be able to repatriate dollars at very much lower tax rates .... And so everything's geared towards a higher equity market and hence why we saw Dow 20,000 yesterday." After the US celebrated, Europe ruminated. As in Asia, there were strong gains too - the MSCI All World Index closing on a lifetime high. Germany's DAX at its highest in a year and half, the FTSE aiming for its highest ever. But questions pondered too - over the nature of this new reality. SOUNDBITE) (German) CAPITAL MARKETS ANALYST, ASCAN IREDI, SAYING: "It is just this incredible high that has ridden on the election of Mr Trump ... We're all rubbing our eyes in disbelief. Why now of all times? But it is what it is ..." With a set of rate hikes flagged throughout this year, the Fed could yet deliver a blow. Or Trump himself - if he fails to deliver. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "If we start to see a shock, if we start to see the Democrats really drag their feet or Congress not be able to appropriate as much money as this administration really wants, that may start to cast doubt on these rather extended valuations. And that could happen easily within his first 100 days, so by mid-April." That fear picked up by the greenback. The dollar at seven-week lows - losing its drive on some of Trump's more controversial plans. For stocks, the bulls still have it.