US stocks, which tend to set the tone for world markets, hit a new record this week, as the S&P 500 index climbed above 1,900.
Meanwhile, European stocks hit a new six-year high (measured by the FTSE Eurofirst index).And Japan's Nikkei perked up to its highest level since April. The good news pushed gold down to a three-month low, below $1,300 an ounce.
What the commentators said
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Markets also focused on the positive aspect of the European elections: Italy's reformist government held out against the populists.
Yet this good cheer could evaporate quickly a correction looks overdue.In the last few years, stocks haven't been driven by profit growth but by valuations in other words, investors have been willing to pay more for a given pound of earnings. The fundamentals need to catch up, says Stephanie Deo of UBS. Yet, first-quarter results haven't been great.
So, earnings disappointments look inevitable, especially with overoptimistic forecasts. Profits for companies in Germany's DAX index, for instance, are expected to jump by 20% in the first quarter of 2015.
Any escalation in Ukraine could also damage the rally, while analysts may also be underestimating the impact of the end of China's property bubble. Throw in alarming levels of insider sales in Europe and the US, notes Wirtschaftswoche, and the rally looks ever more precarious.
Andrew is the editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He grew up in Vienna and studied at the University of St Andrews, where he gained a first-class MA in geography & international relations.
After graduating he began to contribute to the foreign page of The Week and soon afterwards joined MoneyWeek at its inception in October 2000. He helped Merryn Somerset Webb establish it as Britain’s best-selling financial magazine, contributing to every section of the publication and specialising in macroeconomics and stockmarkets, before going part-time.
His freelance projects have included a 2009 relaunch of The Pharma Letter, where he covered corporate news and political developments in the German pharmaceuticals market for two years, and a multiyear stint as deputy editor of the Barclays account at Redwood, a marketing agency.
Andrew has been editing MoneyWeek since 2018, and continues to specialise in investment and news in German-speaking countries owing to his fluent command of the language.
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