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World share markets up

euro stock exchange

World share markets climbed closer to record levels on Tuesday on expectations the European Central Bank will extend its easy monetary policy, while gold slipped to a one-month low following upbeat U.S. economic data.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 hit a record high, led by gains in utility stocks as data showed orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in April.

U.S. markets were also catching up to the ECB news after markets were closed on Monday for Memorial Day.

ECB chief Mario Draghi on Monday bolstered views that the bank will cut euro zone interest rates again next week. Other policymakers drove home the message on Tuesday.

The ECB has discussed “a situation where inflation rates are so low that there is a danger of economic growth being held back,” Austrian ECB board member Ewald Nowotny said. “We will discuss which measures we can take here.”

“June has been signaled as the point in time when Draghi has to do something,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. “We’ve had some false starts with the ECB and we hope this is not another one.”

The day’s gains helped MSCI’s all-world share index .MIWD00000PUS move closer to its 2007 record high. The index was up 0.55 percent.

Leading European markets higher, Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE rose 0.5 percent as a flurry of merger activity provided additional support. Intercontinental Hotels Group IHG.L, buoyed by British media reports of bid interest from the United States, jumped 4.5 percent and was the top performer on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3, which was up 0.2 percent.

 

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