Markets remain buoyed by Dow's new record
APLONDON--The positive mood in financial markets showed few signs of abating Thursday ahead of policy statements from Europe's top two central banks.
March 8, 2013, 12:16 am TWN
Wall Street's eye-popping performance this week, which has seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average strike all-time closing highs on Tuesday and Wednesday, has encouraged optimism across global markets and sent many stock indexes to multi-year highs, too.
“This is typically a moment where most bears capitulate and either withdraw into silent hibernation, or belatedly join a growing band of momentum traders,” said Michael Ingram, market analyst at BGC Partners.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.4 percent at 6,455 while Germany's DAX rose the same rate to 7,948. The CAC-40 in France was 0.6-percent higher at 3,798.
Investors in Europe will be keen to see later in the day if the European Central Bank and the Bank of England follow the Bank of Japan's lead and keep monetary policy unchanged.
The ECB is widely tipped to keep its key interest rate unchanged at the record low of 0.75 percent even though the eurozone economy is in recession.
More uncertainty rests with the Bank of England, with a number of economists predicting it will approve an increase in its monetary stimulus program.
“This does seem as if it will dominate the agenda in the hours ahead, even if the direct implications of decisions in Frankfurt and London will have limited fallout for U.S. equities,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market strategist at GFT Markets.
Wall Street was poised for a steady opening, with both Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent.
More attention in the U.S. is focusing on Friday's nonfarm payrolls figures that often set the market tone for a week or two after their release. A better than expected report from private payrolls firm ADP on Wednesday has swelled expectations over the official government data.