World stocks pushed higher by new Dow high

AP News
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Posted: Nov 22, 2013 10:11 AM
World stocks pushed higher by new Dow high

LONDON (AP) — World stocks mostly rose Friday after the Dow close above 16,000 for the first time, but gains were kept in check by worries the Federal Reserve will cut its monetary stimulus soon.

Asian and European markets were roiled this week by Fed minutes suggesting the U.S. central bank will start reducing its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases in coming months.

The super-easy monetary has kept interest rates low to support economic recovery in the U.S. but also propelled money into higher yielding stocks. Frequent shifts in expectations about when the stimulus will be withdrawn have sparked gyrations in markets.

Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia said the "buoyant" performance of U.S. markets encouraged investors back into stocks even as the Fed guessing game remains on the radar.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent to 4,275.73 while Germany's DAX gained 0.2 percent to 9,211.38. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 6,677.25.

On Wall Street, with the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent but the Dow was flat. The index has been propelled higher by a combination of solid corporate earnings, a steadily strengthening economy and the Fed's monetary policy.

Since the start of the year, the blue chip index is up 22 percent. If it holds onto those gains, the Dow will have its best year since 2003. The Dow topped 14,000 in February and 15,000 in May.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.1 percent to 15,381.72 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 23,696.28. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.6 percent to 2,006.23. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 jumped 0.9 percent to 5,335.90.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery was down $1.06 at $94.38 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.59 to close at $95.44 on Thursday after the U.S. government said monthly unemployment claims fell in a sign of an improving job market.

The euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.3531 while the dollar was little changed at 101.14 yen.