05 March 2013: Wall Street higher in closing rally

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In a late-day rally Wall Street pushed major stock indexes near all-time highs despite concerns about growth and China’s housing market. Any slowdown in China could affect US growth. Commodities and US-materials have a big exposure towards China. This goes especially for giants as Caterpillar and Alcoa which lost respectively 1,8% and 1,1% and were the big losers in yesterday’s trade.

Asian shares followed suit and rebounded strongly on Tuesday after a sharp sell-off triggered by slumping Chinese stocks the previous session. The MSCI-index for Asia-Pacific shares won back 1.1% of the 1.3% lost on Monday. In a prepared statement for the opening of China’s annual parliament meetings, outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao, stressed that China would boost fiscal spending in 2013 in a bid to deliver on the promised 7,5% economic growth for 2013.

This boosted the Australian stock market which rose 1,5% outperforming its Asian peers. Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 0,8% to 53 month high. At least for now markets continue to be bullish in spite of spending cuts in the US, lack of any kind of political resolution in Italy and weaker data from China including an overheated property market. Markets are flush with capital due to monetary easing and continuous low interest rates. For the time being this seems to trump every other concern.

There are no big movements in the currencies. Euro/USD is steady on 1.3015. EU Finance Ministers met yesterday to discuss bail-out terms for Cyprus (see separate article). USD/JPY is at the same 93,50 levels as seen at the start of the week. British pound, GBP, has avoided to slump below 1.50 and trades above 1.51. Oil prices have recovered from yesterday’s low. New York crude, NYMEX, is above USD 90 a barrel. Brent crude trades at 110,25. Gold and silver are marginally higher than at the start of the week. Gold at USD 1580 an ounce. 

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