Emerging Market Bulls Push Global Stocks Higher

Britain's FTSE 100 was a laggard, spending a second day in the red.
Britain's FTSE 100 was a laggard, spending a second day in the red.

London: World shares closed in on one-year highs on Tuesday as the prospect of prolonged cheap borrowing costs and a recent rise in oil prices set off a new emerging market bull run.

Asian stocks reached one-year highs overnight and MSCI's 46-country 'All World' index was close as most of Europe's markets climbed 0.1 to 0.3 per cent higher.

Britain's FTSE 100 was the laggard, spending a second day in the red, as sterling's slow recovery after the country voted to leave the European Union left investors looking at companies' competitiveness again.

Emerging markets had no such worries. A gain of nearly 0.8 per cent for the main emerging market stock index took its rise over the last three trading days past 3 per cent and put it up more than a third since January.

The latest advance came as the prospect of a US interest rate rise was pushed back by weak jobs data on Friday. Rising oil prices helped oil-rich emerging markets such as Mexico, Brazil and Russia.

"Emerging markets have continued to rally, supported by a rise in commodity prices and continued expectations that the Fed will remain dovish," said Standard Life Investment's Alex Wolf.

"In addition, there are some fundamental improvements - August sales improved across many companies and PMI data showed stabilization in China."

Oil markets were calmer, after prices surged, then slid on Monday, when Russia and Saudi Arabia confirmed they had agreed to cooperate to stabilise the oil market, although they offered no immediate plan of action.

US crude was up 50 cents at just over $45 a barrel. Brent crude was down at $47.32, having swung from $46.40 to $49.40 the previous session.

The US dollar barely budged against the yen, at 103.67 yen, but fell for a fifth day against the pound and eased to 1.1166 per euro.

Australia's dollar jumped almost 1 per cent to $0.7655 after the country's central bank said little on the currency's 10 per cent rise since January and kept Aussie interest rates at 1.5 per cent.

"One perhaps could have expected some more discussion of the currency, but we probably need to get back above 0.80 for verbal invention to come back into flavour," said Tobias Davis, head of corporate treasury sales with Western Union in London.

Australian shares slipped 0.4 per cent after the RBA's decision, but MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended its recent gains to set a new one-year high overnight.

Japan's Nikkei stock index closed up 0.3 per cent as the yen gave up some gains from Monday, when Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda shied away from detailed talk of fresh BoJ stimulus.

European bonds were buoyant. Spanish government bond yields slipped below 1 per cent, continuing a strong performance that defies growing political uncertainty in Spain. German Bund yields fell to minus 0.059 per cent.

© Thomson Reuters 2016