Global stocks scaled record highs on Friday, capping their best week in over two months as the dollar stayed close to nine-month lows, with bets on a gradual U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike path and hopes for a strong earnings season boosting risk appetite. Ciara Lee reports.
Scaling record highs, global stocks ending the week on top. Asian equities rose for the fifth straight session, on signs the U.S. Federal Reserve will pursue a gradual rate tightening path. The MSCI World Index was almost 0.1 percent higher. Just a whisker below an all-time intraday high hit earlier and on track to end the week 1.6 percent higher. SOUNDBITE (English) OANDA SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "When we see the Fed raising rates gradually I think that's something that markets tend to benefit from, the gradual raising of rates, a gradual rising of bond yields tends to signify a better economic situation, which would typically suggest that companies' earnings are going to rise as well." The reporting season to get underway with S&P 500 companies expected to report second-quarter earnings growth of 7.8 percent. But not all analysts are feeling so confident. SOUNDBITE (English) CMC Markets, Market Analyst, David Madden, saying: "Some of the economic data out of the United States hasn't been overly impressive. Also cast your mind back to earnings and updates we've had in the last three or four months, it hasn't been overly impressive. So there is a sense that the equity markets are boosted on big picture macro economic news because Miss Yellen isn't too keen on raising rates any time soon. But that's also sort of left traders in a wait and see mode." European shares were poised for their best week in more than two months on signs that major central banks would likely not tighten monetary policy. Stock markets have come a long way since they slid last month on the view that the era of easy money might be coming to an end. But investors have been soothed by a run of more dovish comments from central bankers. Concerns may now turn to Trump. Big criticism over the plan to dismantle Obamacare... and its potential to vex investors.