© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People are reflected in a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
By Katanga Johnson and Herbert Lash
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – World shares reached new records on Tuesday, lifted by rising U.S. and European stocks, while the latest batch of earnings reports bolstered the dollar as investors await the Federal Reserve’s plans to taper its massive stimulus.
All three major U.S. stock indexes hit intraday record highs during the session.
The Australian dollar fell after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sounded a more dovish tone than expected in the first of three much-anticipated central bank meetings this week.
The Fed will release a statement at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, when it is expected to announce the start of tapering its bond-buying program. Markets also are pricing an interest rate hike at the Bank of England meeting on Thursday.
“Most times, markets are happiest when they get predictability, when they get what they expect, and I think the expectation is that they are going to taper,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) in Austin, Texas.
MSCI’s all-country world index, which tracks equity performance in 50 nations, gained 0.14% to close at a record 749.53. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.14%.
Asian equities and bonds were mixed as Chinese property developers worried about contagion from China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis. A debt exchange from one of the country’s top homebuilders triggered a flurry of credit warnings.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday sounded a more dovish tone than investors had anticipated, in the first of several central bank meetings this week, sending the Aussie to its biggest one-day loss since Sept. 29.
Short-dated Australian government bond yields fell and the Australian dollar slid 1.0% to $0.7448.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.181% even as the market has fully priced in a Fed taper announcement.
The euro fell 0.22% to $1.1581, while the yen strengthened 0.01%.
U.S. Treasury yields drifted as the market awaited the Fed’s announcement.
The market does not believe economic growth is going to be very strong next year, said Joe LaVorgna, chief economist for the Americas at Natixis in New York.
“The real interest rate has stayed depressed if not slipped and that’s really a function of where growth is. The market just doesn’t believe growth is going to be very robust,” LaVorgna said.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 2.4 basis points at 1.549%.
The chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Tuesday it will consider new oversight rules for some platforms for trading U.S. Treasuries, in a move aimed at boosting transparency and competition.
Meanwhile, European government bond yields fell, pausing from a selloff sparked by the European Central Bank last week disappointing expectations of a firm pushback against aggressive market pricing for rate hikes.
German 10-year yields slipped 0.8 basis point to -0.168%.
Oil traded below $85 a barrel on Tuesday, but remained close to a three-year high in choppy trade ahead of weekly U.S. supply reports expected to show a rise in crude inventories as traders also looked toward Thursday’s OPEC+ meeting.
Bitcoin rose 4.3% to $63,544.84.
Global equities rally to reach new record, dollar rises ahead of big Fed meeting