BUSINESS

Global markets rise on optimism over Greece, oil

TAGS: Markets, Finance

World stock markets rose Thursday on optimism over $50 oil and Greece’s debt deal, while traders eyed the G7 summit's opening in Japan.

In Europe, Frankfurt, London and Paris extended Wednesday's gains that were won on the back of Greece news, bright German data, easing Brexit concerns and firmer oil prices.

“Stocks around the globe are higher, continuing their recent strong gains,” XTB brokerage analyst David Cheetham told AFP.

“The fresh leg higher in oil we saw overnight, with (Brent oil) breaking above $50 a barrel for the first time since October 2015, has only served to provide more fuel to the rally.”

Asian equities also gained strength from rising oil prices, which tend to boost the profits, revenues and share prices of energy companies.

“Global markets have been fairly perky this Thursday... It is hard to pinpoint any singular reason behind the mild gains,” Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said.

“Run-off goodwill from yesterday's Greek-optimism likely explains the situation in the eurozone, while the year-high performance from Brent crude seems to be shoring up the commodity-heavy indices.

“Nevertheless, the markets are currently seeing one of those quietly solid days where not a lot happens and investors are fine with that, consolidating the highs hit on Wednesday,” he told AFP.

Brent oil prices hit $50.26 a barrel, buoyed by recent Canadian supply disruptions and falling US crude inventories.

The weaker dollar also provided a shot in the arm to many commodities, in turn lifting the resources sector.

Mining giant BHP Billiton topped the risers board in London, gaining 4.6 percent 875.50 pence, while peers Antofagasta, Glencore and Anglo American also jumped by about 4.0 percent in value.

“A slight backtracking of the US dollar has helped a rally across commodities and a positive read-across to UK mining shares,” added CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.

The faltering greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies, stimulating demand and prices.  Markets are now eyeing Group of Seven summit talks, which kicked off Thursday in Japan.

Topping the agenda is the sputtering global economy, although divisions are likely to remain over whether the world should spend or save its way out of the malaise, with Japan and Germany at odds on the issue.

Britain's referendum next month on whether or not to exit the European Union -- in a so-called “Brexit” - was also on the G7 agenda.

Also in sight is a speech by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen at Harvard University Friday, as investors await fresh news about a possible US rate rise.

Traders had been beginning to adjust to news of a possible US interest rate hike come June or July, analysts said, viewing it as an indication of economic strength. 

[AFP]

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