May 23, 2013
Global shares drift at 4-month highs
The Standard & Poor's 500 extended its rally to a fifth day on Thursday, again eking out a tiny gain as lingering expectations for economic stimulus from central banks lent support to a market lacking new catalysts.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 10.45 points, or 0.08 percent, to 13,165.19 at the close. But the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up 0.58 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,402.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 7.39 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 3,018.64.
The leading index of European shares edged closer to a fresh 2012 peak, extending recent gains into a fifth straight session, on hopes China will act to further stimulate its economy and lift the global economic outlook.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.5 percent at 1,101.01. That is around half a percent away from its current 2012 closing peak of 1,106.79 hit on March 16, after the European Central Bank pumped a trillion euros of cash into the banking system.Japan's Nikkei share average rose for the fourth straight day today as momentum was sustained by mixed data from China that kept hopes alive for policy action to tackle the slowdown in Japan's biggest export market.
The benchmark index closed up 1.1 percent at 8,978.60, stepping above its 200-day moving average at 8,956.20. The Nikkei is now up 5 percent on the week, poised to mark the biggest weekly gain since December if it closes above 9,972.94 on Friday.
The broader Topix index advanced 0.8 percent to 751.84 in strong trade, with volume at 55.2 percent of its full-day average for the last 90 days. Some 1.9 billion shares traded hands, slightly down from yesterday's 2.1 billion.