Wall Street ends at multi-year highs on Fed

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight session on Friday to close out the week at nearly five-year highs after the Federal Reserve took bold action to spur the economy, a move that could keep equities buoyed in the coming months.

Shares of Apple Inc, the largest U.S. company by market value, ended at an all-time peak, and Exxon Mobil, the second biggest, hit a four-year high.

Equities are in a run-up that has pushed the S&P 500 to end higher for four consecutive months. The extended advance has come mainly from actions by Europe’s and the United States’ central banks to keep interest rates low and stimulate their struggling economies.

The Fed said Thursday that it would keep up its aggressive bond-buying until unemployment falls. Read more of this post

Global economy on recovery path, risks remain: IMF chief

Reuters– The global economy has stepped back from the brink of danger and signs of stabilization are emerging from the euro zone and the United States, but high debt levels in developed markets and rising oil prices are key risks ahead, the IMF said on Sunday.

“The global economy may be on a path to recovery, but there is not a great Read more of this post

Growth China’s top priority, inflation key risk-NDRC

Reuters– China’s economic policy priority is to maintain relatively fast growth, but Beijing cannot lower its guard against inflation risks, the head of the country’s top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, said on Sunday.

“First of all, we need to maintain steady and relatively fast economic Read more of this post

Canadian home construction seen slowing

TORONTO (Reuters) – New home construction in Canada is expected to slow mildly over the next two years, the Conference Board of Canada said on Tuesday, in another sign of a cooling housing market.

The independent research organization’s latest report forecast housing starts will be 190,000 units in both 2012 and 2013. There were 194,000 starts last year, according to Read more of this post

Bundesbank steps up pressure on Draghi

Financial Time–  Germany’s Bundesbank has stepped up pressure on Mario Draghi, European Central Bank president, to plan the withdrawal of exceptional help for eurozone banks, warning of potentially dangerous side-effects for the region’s financial system.

Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank president, said that ECB governing council members agreed risks taken by the bank must be subject to continuous review. “That does not mean all crisis measures must be immediately withdrawn, but that we as central bankers Read more of this post

Economic recovery hopes lift shares

Reuters-  European shares gained on Tuesday on hopes German and U.S. data will support rising hopes of an economic recovery ahead of a monetary policy statement by the Federal Reserve.

Germany’s ZEW economic sentiment index, due at 1000 GMT, should show Europe’s biggest economy steadily recovering from last year’s dip, while U.S. February retail sales, due at 1230 GMT, are expected to reveal a second straight month of gains.

Strong data from the two economic powerhouses should combine to support stocks and growth-linked currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollars Read more of this post

China gives Japan approval to buy $10bn in state bonds

BBC– China has given Japan the go ahead to buy $10billion of government bonds as Beijing tries to create a more international role for its currency.

China wants the yuan to become an alternative global reserve currency to the US dollar.

Last year, Beijing and Tokyo agreed to promote Read more of this post