U.S. stocks rallied yesterday, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 gaining the most for 2012, on hopes the world’s central bankers will move to bolster the global economy. European stock markets rallied Wednesday as investors shook off the European Central Bank’s decision to leave policy unchanged and instead focused on the possibility of more stimuli from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Asian stocks jumped this morning, extending gains made in the previous session.
Up the most since a 337-point rise on 20 December 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 286.84 points, or 2.4%, to 12 414.79. The S&P 500 Index climbed 29.63 points, or 2.3%, to 1 315.13. The Nasdaq Composite rose 66.61 points, or 2.4%, to 2 844.72.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index jumped 2.3% to close at 239.95. Banking gains helped lift the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index 2.4%, to 5 384.11. The DAX 30 index moved 2.1% higher to 6 093.99. The CAC 40 index gained 2.4% which closed at 3,058.44.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1%, South Korean investors returned from a one-day break to push the Kospi up 2.7%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 1.4%. The Australian and South Korean markets both returned to positive territory for the year with Thursday’s move, along with Taiwan’s Taiex index. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.4%, and the Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.2%.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.25 to the euro, 1.54 to the pound and will buy 79.46 Japanese Yen or 8.30 South African Rand.
The JSE all-share index was up 0.13% to 33 117.85 points‚ with resources gaining 0.99%, gold counters adding 0.65% and platinum stocks managing a 0.43% gain. Financials were flat (0.04%), as were banking stocks (-0.09%), while industrials lost 0.42%.
The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.265% from Tuesday’s close of 6.330% and Monday’s close of 6.355%. The R207 was at 7.600% and offered at 7.545% from a previous close of 7.630% and the R186 was trading at 8.330% from its close of 8.385%.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 621.20/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 462.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 110.64 per barrel.