Record-breaking London stocks spearhead global rally

LONDON, April 24 — Global stock markets mostly rose today, with London zooming to another record, as investors digested another batch of corporate results, welcomed easing Middle East tensions and tracked interest rates.

The British capital’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top blue-chip companies hit 8,092.12 points, extending this week’s record-breaking run that began yesterday. It pared down some gains in afternoon trading.

London this week became the latest global bourse to scale historic heights, following recent records in Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo and Wall Street, propelled also by the prospect of global interest rates cuts owing to easing inflation.


Asia also pushed higher while Wall Street was mixed at the open, with Tesla shares soaring more than 12 per cent in morning deals a day after Elon Musk’s company vowed to accelerate plans for a more affordable electric car.

“Risk is back on in a broad way,” XTB analyst Kathleen Brooks told AFP.

“Earnings reports are doing the talking this week, and so far the results are generally good.”


Investors were keenly awaiting Tesla’s earnings report following a series of setbacks at the company. While it announced late Tuesday a big profit miss, it vowed to speed up the launch of cheaper vehicles.

Shares in troubled US aviation giant Boeing, hit by recent safety problems, also rose as it posted today a first-quarter loss of US$343 million (RM1.6 billion), which was smaller than analysts had expected.

“There is a measure of relief that the earnings reports from Tesla and Boeing were better than feared,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare.

General Electric, Spotify, and diaper and paper product brand Kimberly-Clark were among the companies posting strong gains after releasing quarterly reports.

Microsoft and Alphabet are among the other top firms set to announce their results this week.

Hopes for a strong batch of earnings — particularly from the crucial tech titans — has been a key driver of the rally in stocks, helping to offset disappointment that the Federal Reserve will not cut interest rates as much as hoped this year.

Sentiment was also buoyed as many investors fished for bargains following a recent pullback, while easing Middle East tensions provided additional support.

In Europe, the Paris stock exchange rose, although Kering shares dived eight per cent one day after the French luxury giant issued a profit warning following slumping sales at its flagship Gucci brand.

Frankfurt was flat even as the German government slightly raised the 2024 growth forecast for Europe’s top economy to 0.3 per cent, from 0.2 per cent previously.

A separate, key survey of companies by the Ifo institute showed that German business sentiment rose for a third consecutive month in April, underlining hopes of a recovery.

Oil prices meanwhile receded after jumping yesterday on a report pointing to another build-up in US inventories that raised questions about demand in the world’s top economy. — AFP

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