Global Stocks Near Record Highs Today

Global stocks stood near record highs on Friday after strong U.S. and Chinese economic data cemented expectations of a solid global recovery from the coronavirus-induced slump. 

European shares are expected to inch higher, with Euro Stoxx futures up 0.1% and Britain’s FTSE futures slightly higher. 

Data from the U.S. overnight was also upbeat, with retail sales rebounding 9.8% in March, pushing the level of sales 17.1% above its pre-pandemic level to a record high. 

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced 1.11% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.31%, nearing its record peak set in February. 

The euro stood at $1.1965, having hit a six-week high of $1.19935 overnight while the U.S. currency slipped to a three-week low of 108.61 yen and last traded at 108.89. 

Gold also hit a seven-week high of $1,769 per ounce and last stood at $1,765.50. 

Oil prices hit one-month highs on higher demand forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and OPEC, in addition to positive U.S. and Chinese data. 

Brent futures gained 0.34% at $67.17 per barrel, while U.S. crude rose to $63.58 per barrel, both on course for their first substantial weekly gains in six. 

In other news, Turkey bans use of cryptocurrencies for payments, sends Bitcoin down.  A weaker Turkish lira and inflation pressures also have driven up demand for the cryptocurrency. The legislation goes into effect on April 30th. Bitcoin fell 2.60% in the last 24 hours to $61,558 at 10.00 GMT+3. 

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