Stock markets around the world are at their highest levels in two years as the rally in equities gathers steam.
European stocks opened higher today (Feb. 12) and hit their highest level since before a bear market began at the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 index in the U.S. closed last Friday (Feb. 9) above 5,000 points for the first time, reaching a record high in the process.
While Asian markets are closed for holidays, the main stock index in Japan, the Nikkei, is currently at its highest level in 34 years as equities in that country continue to rise sharply.
Analysts and investors are waiting on U.S. inflation data to be released Feb. 13, as well as British and European inflation data on Feb. 14 for clues as to the direction of interest rates.
Following stronger-than-expected jobs data, futures traders have lowered their expectations for a U.S. interest rate cut in March, with markets now pricing in an 85% chance that rates remain unchanged next month.
Traders are now betting on the first U.S. interest rate cut taking place in May of this year.
The U.S. dollar is currently up 0.1% at 104.130 to the Euro currency.
Oil prices are down as tensions in the Middle East remain high. Brent crude oil, the international standard, is down 0.5% at $81.82 U.S. per barrel.
The price of gold has declined slightly to trade at $2,025 U.S. per ounce.