World shares at six-year peak
London, December 30, 2013
World stocks were putting the finishing touches on a bumper year on Monday, steady at a six-year peak as rising benchmark bond yields and commodity prices underscored expectations of firmer global growth in 2014.
Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 all made minor adjustments to their substantial annual gains as investors consolidated a stellar period for equity markets.
In Tokyo, Japanese shares ended 2013 with a flourish, up 0.7 percent - 56.7 percent for the year - as the yen skidded to a fresh 5-year low for a third straight session.
Unlike the past few years when financial markets lurched from the debt crisis in Europe to US political deadlock, investors are generally upbeat on the global economic outlook next year.
Jeremy Whitley, head of European equities at Aberdeen Asset Management, said one of the reasons for the optimism was that company earnings should improve next year.
"Our belief is that earnings will recover given the improving macroeconomic environment as policy remains very accommodative," he said, regarding Europe.
"However, it is important to be cognisant of the potential headwinds which include the strength of the euro, austerity fatigue ... and the need for an overarching banking union to provide confidence in the banking system."
Thin year-end conditions made for some more lively moves in the currency market. The euro vaulted as high as $1.3892
on Friday before falling back and on Monday, it was last at $1.3753 having moved between $1.3727 and $1.3769.
Support for the single currency came from comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in Germany's Der
Spiegel that he saw no urgent need to cut interest rates again and no signs of deflation.
"At the moment we see no need for immediate action. We don't have Japanese conditions," he said.
The rouble fell on Monday following a second bombing in as many days in the Russian city of Volgograd, though
equity investors largely shrugged off the unrest.
The dollar was up at 105.36 yen after reaching a peak at 105.415. The yen has posted ninth consecutive weeks of falls against the dollar, the longest such run since 1974. - Reuters