Market Buzz: World markets cheered by Fed growth outlook

RIA Novosti / Vadim Zhernov
Markets around the world have been buoyed by retail sales news from the US Federal Reserve. While Fed chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t hint at any possible monetary injections into the economy, he said retail sales figures would show growth.

­The Fed kept interest rates at record lows and promised to continue to swap its own assets into riskier securities. The market was also heartened by a report from the Commerce Department, as growth in retail sales came with J.P.Morgan’s announcement on higher dividends.

US stocks closed high on the wave of positive domestic news with the Dow Jones gaining 1.30%, the S&P's 500 climbing 1.37% and the Nasdaq Composite adding 1.41%.

Asia markets set a positive stage for the start of Russian trade on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei climbed 2% boosted by a weaker yen.  South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.3%, while China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.4%.

The Russian market traded flat on Tuesday as investors have been waiting for the latest policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. Shares of leading aluminum producer Rusal dropped 3.4% after Victor Vekselberg resigned as the company’s chairman. Meanwhile, energy shares performed well. 

European stock markets rallied Tuesday as the German investor sentiment index ZEW significantly grew to 22.3 points in March from 5.4 points in February. European finance ministers contributed to the markets’ optimism as they approved a second bailout for Greece late Monday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.8% to the highest level since last July. Germany’s DAX 30 rose 1.4%, while French CAC 40 added 1.72%.