BlackRock sees S&P 500 at 1,600 by end-2013

NEW YORK Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:00am EST

NEW YORK Dec 12 (Reuters) - BlackRock, one of the world's biggest asset managers, expects the S&P 500 to hit a new record high in 2013, with the broad measure of U.S. stocks reaching 1,600 by the end of the year.

That would represent a gain of more than 12 percent from current levels and would surpass the index's previous all-time high of 1,576.09 set in 2007.

BlackRock also maintained an earlier target of 1,525 for the index by the middle of 2013. The targets were provided to Reuters by Chris Leavy, BlackRock's chief investment officer, fundamental equities of the Americas.

Leavy said in September that the S&P 500 would end this year at 1,450. The index closed on Tuesday at 1,427.84.

BlackRock had assets under management of about $3.56 trillion on June 30, including $297 billion in equities under management.

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