Bull run drives mar­kets to record high

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - Louis ash­worth

GLOBAL stock mar­kets hit an all-time high yes­ter­day, as a bull mar­ket that has seen eq­ui­ties quickly shake off their virus-driven losses showed no signs of slow­ing.

The MSCI All-Coun­try World In­dex – the broad­est gauge of stock mar­kets across de­vel­oped coun­tries and emerg­ing mar­kets – touched 581.11 near the end of the Euro­pean ses­sion, tak­ing it above Fe­bru­ary’s peak.

Global stocks have risen more than 50pc from their March lows, re­flect­ing a charge into eq­ui­ties that has been driven by soar­ing tech val­u­a­tions, and a paucity of al­ter­na­tive risk op­tions for in­vestors.

De­spite the bleak out­look, a string of bet­ter-than-ex­pected bursts of eco­nomic news have added fuel to the fire in re­cent weeks.

The rally has been far from sec­u­lar: even as com­pa­nies such as Ap­ple have chalked up new record highs, sec­tors such as real es­tate and trans­port re­main in the dol­drums.

Wall Street strate­gists have been forced to ramp up their ex­pec­ta­tions for how far mar­kets will rise, as in­vestors de­fi­antly pile into stocks to drive an un­prece­dented rally. In re­cent days, signs of progress on vac­cines and trade have raised sen­ti­ment, with of­fi­cials from the US and China con­firm­ing talks ear­lier this week.

“As long as tar­iffs don’t rise, we see lit­tle rea­son to ex­pect a sig­nif­i­cantly neg­a­tive eco­nomic im­pact in the near term,” wrote Mark Hae­fele, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at UBS global wealth man­age­ment.

The FTSE 100 was the black sheep amid a gen­er­ally pos­i­tive ses­sion for Euro­pean eq­ui­ties yes­ter­day, clos­ing flat af­ter spend­ing most of the day in the red.

The blue-chip in­dex slipped slightly de­spite thin sum­mer news flows, with sev­eral heavy­weights such as Diageo, HSBC and As­traZeneca weigh­ing.

Ahead of a reshuf­fle of Lon­don’s main mar­ket next month, FTSE Rus­sell said ITV was likely to lose its spot in the FTSE 100 af­ter nine years, with B&M Euro­pean Re­tail in pole po­si­tion for pro­mo­tion.

HSBC fell 3.2p to 331.6p af­ter sec­re­tary of state Mike Pom­peo said the US was “dis­mayed” by re­ports that Hong Kong-based ex­ec­u­tives of pro-democ­racy out­let Next Me­dia had been un­able to ac­cess their ac­counts with the bank.

Shares in Aveva con­tin­ued to climb, jump­ing 450p to £50.96 as an­a­lysts praised the group’s $5bn (£3.8bn) takeover of US busi­ness OSIsoft, an­nounced on Tues­day.

Gold miner Poly­metal rose 28p to £19.80. The group dou­bled its in­terim div­i­dend af­ter re­port­ing a boost in rev­enues for the first half of the year.

On the FTSE 250, doorstep lender Prov­i­dent Fi­nan­cial rose 38.3p to 234p af­ter re­port­ing re­sults that beat ex­pec­ta­tions – de­spite its swing to a £28m loss.

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