European Markets up after Feel-Good Report from Central Bank (Bloomberg)
Currency investors got a shot in the arm today when the euro hit an 11-month high against the dollar. The boost came after news from the European Central Bank announcing that its lenders would be able to repay a larger percentage of loans quicker than anticipated. European markets took the news and ran with it, as EURO STOXX 50 rose .72 percent, the FTSE 100 gained .12 percent and the DAX moved up 1.19 percent. Let’s see how long the good news lasts.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 2.9 percent today to close at its highest point in 32 months. The rally is fueled by investor optimism about Japan’s re-focused efforts to strengthen its own economy. The same news sent the yen down against the dollar — which will only encourage more commerce from the country’s major exporters. What was the Chinese reaction to the Japanese good news? They apparently couldn’t have cared less, since Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost .08 percent, while the Shanghai Composite dropped .49 percent.
Oil topped $96 a barrel on Friday amid optimism that the world’s two largest economies are expected to grow throughout 2013. Those growth expectations are based on positive news out of the U.S. housing and jobs markets and the fifth straight month of manufacturing growth in China. Apparently this is more than enough momentum to offset the fact that there are ample stockpiles of oil already waiting to be put to use. Whether or not that momentum can be sustained for the entire year remains to be seen.
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