Bloomberg: Stocks rose, extending the MSCI World Index’s third straight weekly gain on speculation that the worst of the global recession is over. The pound weakened as Prime Minister Gordon Brown overhauled his government.
The MSCI World Index of 23 developed countries added 0.2 per cent at 11:26 a.m. in London, led by raw-materials producers as Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd. rose more than 10 per cent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.4 per cent, indicating the U.S. gauge will extend its 2.5 per cent weekly advance. The pound fell against 13 of the 16 most-traded currencies, while the Swedish krona slumped on concern Latvia may be forced to devalue.
The U.S. government will say today that employers cut the fewest workers from payrolls in seven months, according to the median forecast in a survey of 75 economists in a Bloomberg survey. While the unemployment rate may have climbed to 9 per cent for the first time in more than 25 years, reports this week on housing, manufacturing and personal income were all better than estimated.
“There are clearly signs of optimism that the worst of the recession is over,” said Kornelius Purps, a fixed-income strategist in Munich at UniCredit Markets & Investment Banking. “Each and every indicator is pointing to the bottom of the economic cycle now being behind us.”
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