Global shares hold at five-year high after Fed stimulus boost

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:47am EDT
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By Marc Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - World shares steadied at a five-year high on Friday and bond and commodity markets were consolidating a week of major gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve's shock decision to keep its flow of stimulus steady.

After the sharp moves of Wednesday and Thursday, Asian and early European trading was largely subdued as investors took stock of their positions and locked in some of the gains, with half an eye on German elections on Sunday.

Wall Street was expected to start the day flat to marginally lower with traders due a breather after both the S&P 500 .SPX and Dow Jones .DJI hit all-time highs after the Fed stunner on Wednesday.

As Europe eased into weekend mode the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3, core and peripheral euro zone bond markets were all little changed, while the euro was holding near an eight-month high after its best week since July.

MSCI's index of world shares .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks stocks in 45 countries, was also flat but this week's rises, the best in over a year for Asian stocks, put it on track for its first three-week run of plus 2 percent gains since 2009.

Although the Fed's move has spurred markets, for some the obsession with cheap central bank money has raised concerns.

"It's always nice to see equity markets go up but I'm not overly happy that markets are so obsessed with the Fed at the moment," said Uwe Zöllner, head of European equities for Franklin Templeton investments.

"This should not be and must not be base for stock price movement at the moment ... The market at some point later in the year might get ahead of itself and then have to have a second thought."   Continued...

A visitor walks past logos at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai