NEW YORK (Reuters) – Key world equity indexes scaled new highs on Friday as the latest U.S. data – a surge in housing starts to the highest level since 2006 – drove stocks on Wall Street to records and investors away from risk-adverse assets such as the yen.
Optimism over corporate earnings and indications of resilience in China’s economy also lifted equities, led the dollar to gain further against the euro and pushed government debt yields higher.
Starts - % - Rate - Units - December
Housing starts jumped 16.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.608 million units in December, a 13-year high suggesting the industry has recovered amid low mortgage rates that also can help support the longest U.S. economic expansion.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.21%, marking the index’s fifth straight day of setting records.
US - Economy - Federal - Reserve - People
The resurgent U.S. economy, backed by an accommodative Federal Reserve, is bringing people off the sidelines back into the market, said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co in Milwaukee.
An improving economy also is reducing the fear of being the last person to invest before a recession, Schutte said.
People - Market - Recession - Fears - Treasury
“Those people are now coming back into the market because recession fears are diminishing,” he said. “When you look out there and you have a 10-year Treasury at 1.8% and you have the economy turning around, where are you going to put your money?”
European shares touched a record high, as the broad pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.92%.
Indexes - Wall - Street - Records
The three main indexes on Wall Street also hit records.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose...
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