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After its worst performance in more than 30 years, gold began 2014 on a stronger note recouping some 1.5% of its value last night. The buying spilled over into silver and copper, with dealers talking of Chinese demand for commodities in general. 

Meanwhile, focusing on Europe, regional shares have erased gains seen over the last few sessions as investors await manufacturing data from the United States. With British manufacturing data coming in worse than expected, we could see the FTSE 100 trade even lower in the run up to the U.S data. Significantly, Fiat shares have soared throughout the morning after the carmaker agreed to buy the remaining stake in Chrysler Group. 

Global equities soared by $9.6 trillion in 2013 as central-bank bond buying helped the U.S. economy gain momentum, while the euro area emerged from recession. European stocks rallied 17 percent in 2013. Their biggest increase since 2009 sent the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to 15.4 times its constituents’ projected earnings, up from 12.7 times at the beginning of 2013.

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