Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dow posts record high as global stocks rally

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high on Tuesday. The Dow rose 0.9 percent to 14,253.77. The S&P 500 also rose, gaining 1.0 percent to 1,539.79, less than 2 percent below its record high.

European stocks also rose on Tuesday. The STOXX Europe 600 jumped 1.8 percent to 294.11, the highest level since June 2008.

The global equity rally had begun earlier in the day in Asia. The Shanghai Composite Index in particular jumped 2.3 percent as outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao announced at the opening of the National People's Congress that the government would target growth of 7.5 percent.

Economic data on Tuesday were mixed though.

In China, the HSBC services PMI fell to 52.1 in February from 54.0 in January.

In the euro area, the services sector shrank again in February as Markit's services PMI for the region fell to 47.9 from 48.6 in January, pulling the composite index also down to 47.9 from 48.6. However, retail sales in the euro area jumped 1.2 percent in January, the biggest increase since December 2009.

Meanwhile, growth in the UK services sector accelerated in February. The Markit/CIPS services PMI rose to 51.8 last month from 51.5 in January.

Growth in the US services sector also accelerated in February. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index rose to 56.0 last month from 55.2 in January.

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