Global stocks surge to new high, dollar dips

U.S.-NEW YORK-STOCKS

Global stocks surge to new high, dollar dips

On Wednesday, the loonie rallied the most in a year as the Fed raised interest rates as expected but central bank officials stuck to their outlook for two more rate hikes this year and three in 2018, a more gradual path than some investors had expected.

That helped Amsterdam's AEX stock index climb to its highest level in more than nine years, while both Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 hit their highest levels since mid-2015 as fears eased that the euro zone was heading inexorably towards a break-up. The S&P 500 gained 15 points, or 0.7%, to 2,380 with all 11 sectors higher. Meanwhile, gold prices fell by 0.07 per cent to Dollars 1,202.80 an ounce in Singapore today.

The pound to dollar exchange rate leapt up to highs of £1 to $1.229 this morning, after the US Federal Reserve announced the decision to hike interest rates.

A widely anticipated USA interest rate hike combined with a dovish outlook for the future path of rates lifted emerging stocks to 20-month highs on Thursday but also prompted a number of developing central banks to tighten monetary policy.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.30 points to 20,921.25.

Markets also reacted positively after Dutch center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte fought off a challenge by anti-immigration, anti-European Union rival Geert Wilders to score an election win seen as a victory against populist nationalism.

Other markets: Oil prices rebounded after settling at their lowest levels since late November (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rise-for-the-first-time-in-7-sessions-monthly-opec-report-ahead-2017-03-14) on Tuesday following data that showed major oil producer Saudi Arabia has started to increase production.

"The market is not sure about the timing of a rate hike in the future". With evidence building that wages and consumer spending are finally slowing, however, money market pricing has pointed to there being little chance of the bank raising rates to cool an economy at a time when political risks to growth are rising.

Gold XAU= inched 0.1 percent lower to $1,225.14 an ounce, as investors took profits after strong gains this week on the Fed's more moderate monetary policy stance.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng leaped 2.1%, and Seoul's Kospi rose 0.8%. Groundbreaking for new homes rose 3% to a seasonally adjusted 1.288 million units.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 16 cents to $48.70 a barrel. The drop pulled the rug out from under the dollar, whichsank to a three-week low of 100.510 against a basket of currencies. The precious metals had lost ₹ 400 in last two days.

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