The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJ) rose to 14 000 for the first time since October 2007 on Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index also hit its highest level since December 2007. The Asian markets drew momentum from the jump in US indexes and data showing a credible recovery. The Federal Reserve’s (FED) last week resolve to continue monetary easing along with solid manufacturing data both from Europe and China, contributed to the positive market sentiment.
US payrolls statistics showed Friday an increase of 157 000 new jobs in January with numbers for November and December adjusted up. The MSCI index for Asia Pacific rose 0,6% after posting a 0,7% gain last week. Australian shares jumped 0,9% to a 21-month high. The Japanese Nikkei rose 0,5%.
There were big currency movements on Friday. Presented data showed that those euro zone factories in January had their best month in one year. This lifted the Euro to a 14-half-month peak at 1,3711. Euro/USD has corrected in early Monday trading and eased to 1.3624. The Japanese yen continues to fall. USD/JPY which traded at a peak of 92,97, has eased back to 92,72. The British pound, GBP, reached a bottom of 1.5670 towards the dollar on Friday and trades at 1.5700 in early Asian trading.
Risk appetite continues to grow. The dollar index measured against a basket of currencies fell to a for-and-a-half-month low to 78,918 on Friday while investors in January poured a record USD 77,4 billion into mutual and exchange traded funds. This is a huge increase from the previous record on USD 53.7 billion in February 2000. In the oil market Brent crude had its highest weekly gain since mid-November on tension in the Middle East and prospects for economic growth.