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Global equities off 2009 highs, dollar edges up

Global equities off 2009 highs, dollar edges up
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First Published: Tue, Nov 17 2009. 09 18 PM IST

Hitting a record: Gold prices in Mumbai surged on Tuesday by Rs200 and touched an all-time high of Rs17,300 per 10g on frantic buying by jewellers for the ongoing marriage season. Rupak De Chowdhuri /
Hitting a record: Gold prices in Mumbai surged on Tuesday by Rs200 and touched an all-time high of Rs17,300 per 10g on frantic buying by jewellers for the ongoing marriage season. Rupak De Chowdhuri /
Updated: Tue, Nov 17 2009. 09 18 PM IST
London: World stocks slipped on Tuesday from the previous day’s 2009 high, and oil and gold fell as investors locked in gains from a strong rally.
Wall Street looked set for modest losses at the open and the dollar edged higher from its 15-month lows.
Expectations that the US Federal Reserve would keep interest rates near zero for some time had been weighing on the dollar, fuelling gains in dollar-priced raw materials and related commodity shares.
Hitting a record: Gold prices in Mumbai surged on Tuesday by Rs200 and touched an all-time high of Rs17,300 per 10g on frantic buying by jewellers for the ongoing marriage season. Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters
On Tuesday, investors stepped back from risky trades, mindful that a period of consolidation was probable given that world stocks, measured by MSCI, rallied around 75% from their March troughs.
“Despite the fundamentals remaining upbeat, a degree of consolidation is likely...as equity traders pause for breath,” IG Markets analyst Ben Potter noted.
“There is, however, little to suggest that this will turn into any full-blown bout of profit taking... The overall view seems to remain that with the economic recovery under way and government stimulus attempts ongoing, there are few reasons out there to be avoiding stocks.” The MSCI World equity index fell 0.4%, having hit its highest since September 2008 on Monday.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.3%, after hitting a 13-month high in the previous session.
Emerging stocks market fell 0.4%.
US crude oil fell more than 0.5% to $78.28 (Rs3,625 ) a barrel, while gold lost more than three quarters of a per cent to around $1,129 per ounce after hitting record highs above $1,143 on Monday.
In Mumbai, however, gold prices surged by Rs200 and touched an all-time high of Rs17,300 per 10g on frantic buying by jewellers for the ongoing marriage season.
Marketmen said gold spurted on buying by stockists and jewellery fabricators as they enlarged their positions to meet seasonal demand.
The dollar rose 0.7% against a basket of major currencies, just above Monday’s 15-month lows.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, in a rare comment on the US dollar’s value, acknowledged the currency’s slump was causing some prices to rise, although other factors were restraining inflation.
He also said tight credit and a weak job market would weigh on the economy’s recovery, repeating the Fed’s pledge to keep interest rates exceptionally low for an extended period.
“The chairman’s rhetoric signals that the dollar decline is well on the radar of the Fed and US authorities may be more prone to acquiesce to stronger rhetoric opposing dollar weakness. This is something to watch at forthcoming G-7, G-20, etc. meetings,” Citigroup said in a note to clients.
“While verbal support may moderate the pace of dollar decline, it is unlikely to affect a structural trend that reflects well-entrenched fundamentals. In addition, current dollar short positioning is not particularly stretched and investors may continue to look to sell on rallies.”
The Bund future gained 11 ticks, underpinned by cautious comments from European Central Bank officials who have stressed a slow and steady exit policy from their extraordinary stimulus measures.
PTI contributed to this story.
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First Published: Tue, Nov 17 2009. 09 18 PM IST
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