GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares near 5-yr high as central bank rally rolls on
* MSCI world share index at highest since June 2008, Dax at record high * German data lifts euro, pressure remains from ECB rate cut threat * Reserve Bank of Australian cuts interest rates to record low * Aussie dollar falls, stocks trim earlier losses on RBA decision By Marc Jones LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - World shares hit their strongest in almost five years and Germany's Dax reached an all-time high on Tuesday, as signals top central banks will remain supportive of growth continued to drive markets. Wall Street, which has climbed over 13 percent this year, was also eyeing another record day for the S&P 500, with futures pointing to opening gains of around 0.2 percent. MSCI's global index, which tracks stocks in 45 countries, had edged past its June 2008 peak after Japan's Nikkei, which was closed on Monday, jumped in a delayed reaction to Friday's U.S. jobs data. Momentum then continued in Europe, with the DAX hitting a record as German industrial data and corporate earnings proved unexpectedly strong. With key economies like the United States seeing a patchy recovery but others struggling to maintain growth, major central banks around the world have shown over the last few weeks they intend to keep stimulus flowing freely for the time being. On Monday, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said it was ready to trim rates again if needed, while Australia's central bank cut rates to a new low of 2.75 percent on Tuesday and suggested it may do more. "I think the markets are going to continue going higher," said Neil Marsh, strategist at Newedge. "From a very low base, everyone is fairly optimistic that things are going to improve and if they don't, you've got the added backdrop from Draghi that he'll do whatever it takes to push the euro zone economy forwards." YEAR OF NONSENSE Draghi's comments, including that the ECB might push its deposit rate into negative territory, kept the euro under pressure although the surprise rise in German industrial orders pushed it back above $1.31 against a softer dollar. While it would ease monetary policy, negative rates would be a risk for the ECB as they would effectively push banks to spend any spare cash rather than parking it at the central bank. The view that banks will choose to accept the risks of buying Italian and Spanish bonds rather than lose money leaving it at the ECB trimmed yields for both countries. Portugal sold its first 10-year bond since being bailed out in 2011, while safe-haven German Bunds lost ground. "This year is a year where all market behaviour is basically nonsense ... In an environment where you have the central banks pushing down all yield levels on whatever is supposed to be a fixed-income investment, this is really changing the game," said Didier Duret, Chief Investment Officer at ABN Amro. "I think there is a plot to inflate from the central banks and this is still unfolding, so we are in the paradigm where the central banks' actions are still the fuel for markets. For now I don't see any reason to worry (about equity markets falling)." RATE CUT HITS AUSSIE DOLLAR The Australian dollar sank to a two-month low of $1.0157 after the central bank trimmed rates by 25 basis points, also helping Australian shares limit losses. Markets had priced in a 50-50 chance of a cut. April data from China, the world's second-largest economy, due over the next week - including trade, inflation, and money supply and loan growth - should give more clues on the prospects for global growth. Many industrial commodities have risen on expectations the giant U.S. economy will lead a recovery although worries about demand from top consumers such as China are tempering gains. Three-month copper was up 0.2 percent at $7,281 a tonne after hitting a three-week high of $7,374 earlier. The metal is up about 7 percent since Friday, although it remains around 5 percent below its April peak. Shanghai steel futures hit a near one-week high early on Tuesday but remain near their lowest for five months. Crude oil prices fought off early weakness to push back towards $106 a barrel as profit-taking wore off following a spike on Monday as Middle East tensions escalated. "There's a risk premium pull-back today, but more generally there's a glow of comfort for investors, with central banks in Europe and the United States more supportive across the board," said SEB in Oslo's chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.
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