Better than expected news from The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in the US helped push the Dow Jones to its highest level for more than 4 years. The index of manufacturing activity increased to 54.8 for April, up from March’s figure of 53.4. This beat market expectations of 53.0 with a reading above 50.0 showing expansion. Having seen disappointing data from the US concerning consumer spending, unemployment and gross domestic product rates, the surprise and very welcome manufacturing figures initiated a buying spree in equities markets across Asia on the sentiment that the U.S. economy may well be on a better footing than had been thought over the last few months.
The Dow Jones index which as been rising steadily increasing since falling below the 7,000 mark at the start of 2009, and returned to above the 13000 mark in February of this year increased 66 points to finish the session at 13,279 – the highest level since 28 December 2007. At time of writing (4.31am GMT) – the Nikkei 225 of Japan was up 0.48%, trading at 9395.50 whilst both the Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor’s 500 also finished higher last night.
Fears have been increasing that the Federal Reserve will turn to stimulating the economy by way of quantitative easing which more often than not causes stock prices to rise on the weakened dollar and European stocks look likely to rise ahead of the European markets opening later this morning.
Today much of the investor focus will be on manufacturing PMI released in Europe and France, Spain and Germany at approximately 8am GMT and then unemployment rates in the same countries between 8 and 9 am GMT. At 12.15pm GMT – Non farm employment change is released in the US and finally at 10.45 pm there is the New Zealand unemployment rate figures released. All in all a very busy day for trading with plenty of profit giving volatility,
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