Investors lift global stocks, look past banking worry

 @ibtimes
on April 23 2009 6:40 AM

Investors generally put aside recent worries about the world economy and banking industry woes on Thursday, sending global stocks higher and reversing safety flows into the Japanese yen.

Mixed earnings plagued European markets, however, with Credit Suisse posting better-than-expected profits and engineering group ABB missing forecasts and giving a cautious outlook.

Euro zone purchasing managers provided the latest green shoots data to suggest some economic recovery. They signaled stabilization in their sectors but also record job losses.

It's another mixed bag, said Chris Hossain, senior sales manager at ODL Securities Ltd in a note.

Only history will tell us if the doom-mongers are correct, but what can't be denied is that we haven't seen a wide-ranging bout of optimism spread across the investing public.

Globally, equities as measured by MSCI's benchmark <.MIWD00000PUS> were up 0.3 percent while its emerging market counterpart gained 0.8 percent.

The latter reflected an increasing belief among global investors that growth is likely to return sooner in many non-developed economies.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> was down 0.1 percent, off earlier lows. Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> gained 1.37 percent.

YEN REVERSAL

On currency markets, the yen gave up early gains and slipped broadly. It had received a boost from the banking sector concerns earlier in the session.

The flows that are coming out are probably from hedge funds. I get the sense that traders are just sticking to short-term trading, said a trader at a major Japanese trading house.

The dollar was up 0.3 percent against the yen at 98.22 yen, after falling to 97.63 yen on trading platform EBS earlier, just shy of a three-week low of 97.57 yen hit on Wednesday.

The euro rose 0.4 percent to 127.92 yen, having rebounded from a one-month low of 126.10 yen hit earlier this week.

Against the dollar, the euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.3024, up from this week's one-month low of $1.2888.

Euro zone bond yields, which trade inversely to prices, mostly crept higher. The 10-year Bund yield gained 3 basis points on the day to 3.246 percent, while the two-year Schatz yield was flat at 1.474 percent.

(Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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