U.S. stocks closed at multi-year highs yesterday following the European Central Bank’s announcement it will buy bonds and positive U.S. job data. Spanish bond yields plunged and European stock markets rallied on ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank would launch an unlimited bond-buying program to ease pressure on sovereign borrowing costs. Asia shares jumped this morning on ECB and U.S. jobs data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 244.52 points, or 1.9%, at 13 292, its highest close since December 2007. The S&P 500 Index advanced 28.86 points, or 2%, to close at 1 432.12, its highest close since January 2008. For both indexes, it was the best one-day percentage gain since June 29. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 66.64 points, or 2.2%, to close at 3 135.81, its highest close since November 2000.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 2.3% to close at 271.67, the best daily performance since early August. The FTSE 100 index rose 2.1% to 5 777.34. The DAX 30 index closed 2.9% higher at 7 167.33. The CAC 40 index gained 3.1% to 3 509.88.
A slate of new infrastructure projects designed to spur growth in China gave stocks additional boost. The Shanghai Composite surged 4.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 2.4%. South Korea’s Kospi rallied 2.2%, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 2%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.5%.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.26 to the euro, 1.59 to the pound and will buy 78.92 Japanese Yen or 8.28 South African Rand.
The JSE all-share index was up 1.80% to 35 674.73 points‚ with platinum miners jumping 3.97%‚ resources rallying 3.23% and the gold index gaining 2.44%.
The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.410% from 5.395% at Wednesday’s close. The R207 was bid at 6.465% and offered at 6.435% from Wednesday’s close of 6.440%‚ and the R186 was trading at 7.340% from 7.325% previously.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 696.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 572.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 113.49 per barrel.