Global shares gain as global economic outlook improves
By Richard Hubbard
LONDON (Reuters) - World share markets extended a week-long rally on Thursday as manufacturing surveys in China and the United States boosted confidence in global growth and euro zone data at least did not worsen the already weak outlook for that region.
The euro hit a three high against the dollar on optimism that a funding deal for debt-crippled Greece will ultimately be agreed - and despite data indicating the region's economy is on course for its deepest recession since early 2009.
"The driving factors behind euro/dollar are that the global macroeconomic backdrop seems to be improving and people are pricing out the tail risk on Greece," said Arne Lohmann Rasmussen, head of currency research at Danske Bank.
The euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.2880, its highest since November 2.
The view there will be a deal to help Athens was bolstered on Wednesday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the failure of the latest talks, that an agreement was possible when euro zone ministers meet again on Monday.
The hopes for a Greek deal, combined with the better economic data and a growing view that a solution can be found to the U.S. fiscal crisis, lifted the MSCI world equity index 0.4 percent to 326 points, putting it on track for its best week since mid-September.
Europe's FTSE Eurofirst 300 index rose 0.4 percent to a two-week high of 1,101.70 points, with London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX between 0.3 and 0.7 percent higher.
However, trading was subdued, with U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. Continued...