World Stocks At Record High To Begin Year’s Second Half

World stock markets are starting the second half of 2024 at record highs.

Buoyed by optimism that interest rates will trend lower in coming months, and with national elections being held in the United Kingdom and France, the MSCI’s world stock index has hit an all-time high.

The benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices in the U.S. went into the Independence Day holiday on July 4 at record highs, and Japan’s leading Nikkei 225 index is currently trading at record levels.

European stocks are rallying on news that Britain’s Labour Party won a landslide victory in national elections, replacing the Conservative party that had been in power for 14 years.

This weekend will see second-round election results in France, which could further move markets in coming days.

Stocks markets are pushing against all-time highs after enjoying a strong rally to start the year.

Equities have been rising on rate cut expectations, strong corporate earnings, and hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI).

However, the rally in stocks remains uneven. Mega-cap technology stocks and stocks associated with AI have risen sharply at the expense of value and small-cap stocks.

In the U.S., the Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks has gained only 1% year-to-date while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite index has increased 23%.

Some analysts are forecasting a broadening out of the market rally as corporate earnings for this year’s second quarter get underway in mid-July.

At its current level of 3,571, the MSCI’s World Index is up 12% on the year and at its highest level ever.

The MSCI World Index is a widely followed global stock market index that tracks the performance 1,500 stocks of large and mid-sized companies across 23 developed countries.

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