Friday, March 15 11:17:54
World shares headed for a second week of gains and the euro its best week since early February today as mounting evidence of a growing U.S. recovery encouraged demand for riskier assets.
But the dollar was taking a breather for a second day after its recent sprint saw it touch a seven-month high against a basket of major currencies on Thursday.
Investors have been encouraged back into markets for riskier assets this month as data on U.S. jobs, retail sales and factory output showed the recovery in the world's largest economy gaining momentum, despite tax rises and government spending cuts.
A lack of signs of inflation in the numbers has also eased fears the Federal Reserve would need to consider an early exit from its aggressive quantitative easing (QE) policy that has helped support asset prices around the world.
"I think (the Fed) will continue easing at $85 billion a month, so you have good economic data and still ongoing QE," said Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank.
The encouraging outlook has seen the Dow Jones Industrial index set record highs over the past 10-days to post its best winning streak since late 1996.
European shares have tracked U.S. equities higher, adding another 1 percent this week to return to mid-2008 levels, while MSCI's all-world index, which tracks 9,000 stocks in 45 countries, has gained a solid 6.75 percent this year so far.
Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index, which is on course for its fourth weekly rise, was mostly steady on Friday near the 4-1/2 year peak. London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX were flat to down 0.2 percent.