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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares eye 5-year high after Abe win, yen choppy
July 22, 2013 / 10:56 AM / in 4 years

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares eye 5-year high after Abe win, yen choppy

* Europe shares edge higher after Nikkei post-election gains
boost Asia
    * Makeshift Portugal deal pushes up periphery bonds, doubts
remain
    * Broadly softer dollar helps underpin commodity prices
    * Wall Street expected to open with 0.1 percent gain

    By Marc Jones
    LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - World shares were within sight
of a five-year high on Monday as a strengthening of Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's grip on power in weekend elections
was seen as a boost for his radical stimulus policies.
    The mood was also bolstered by a pledge from the Group of 20
nations on Saturday to adjust their stimulus policies with care
and put growth before austerity in order to revive the global
economy, which the bloc stressed remained "too weak".
    
    A resounding victory for Abe and his LDP party with its
coalition partners in Japan's Upper House elections had lifted
Asian shares in a choppy session. It also saw the yen rise
against the dollar and the euro although that was seen as a
temporary boost as the election result is seen as negative for
the yen going forward. 
    Upbeat results from Dutch electronics giant Philips 
and Swiss Banks UBS and Julius Baer then
helped European shares shake off a lazy start and add
0.3 percent to the 9 percent gains they have made since June.
    Reassurances of support from the world's major economies and
some strong earnings from multinational companies have seen
momentum build in equity markets over the last few weeks.
    The MSCI's world share index, which tracks
stocks in 45 countries, was up 0.2 percent and within touching
distance of the five-year high of 1,533 points it hit at the end
of May.
    "We are seeing a bit of position adjustment today but we
have got a general positive outlook and I don't think the trend
is going to break," said Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes.
    Abe's election victory "frees up Abe's hand to get on with
the third reform arrow of his strategy, but in terms of the
market there was never really any doubt over how this was going
to play out." (For a story on the election result click
 )
  

    CHOPPY YEN   
    The yen bounced back after an initial dip in Tokyo trading
on some dollar selling by Japanese investors, which in turn
triggered stop-loss selling in thin conditions.
    By 1020 GMT the dollar was down 0.6 percent on the day at
just under 100 yen, a turnaround from a high of 101.05.
The euro was also 0.3 percent lower at 131.51, well
off an early high of 132.47.
    Nevertheless most analysts saw it as temporary volatility.
    "Post the Japanese upper house election, we would expect the
Abe government's economic reform rhetoric to gain further
momentum, putting JPY back under pressure," Morgan Stanley's
currency strategists wrote in a note. 
    The euro was slightly up from late New York levels at
$1.3181 by mid-morning, while the Australian dollar had
advanced 0.3 percent to $0.9201, buoyed by Friday's
move by China - Australia's single biggest export market - to
ease lending rules. 
    In Europe's debt market, benchmark Bund futures 
were little changed as Portugal led gains in periphery euro zone
bonds after a weekend move by its President to keep the
country's coalition government intact patched over its recent
troubles. 
    Market participants saw limited scope for the yields to fall
much further, however, as investors fret that the fragile
coalition could struggle to steer the country out of its bailout
programme in 2014 as planned.
    "This maintenance of the status quo does nothing to address
the divergences of opinion within the ruling coalition which are
likely to return to the fore before too long," Rabobank
strategists said in a note.
    
    COMMODITIES CREEP HIGHER
    Wall Street was expected to start the week on the front foot
again with gains of around 0.1 percent expected at the open for
both the record high S&P 500 and the Dow Jones. 
    Commodities were mostly firmer thanks to the softer dollar.
U.S. crude held near a 16-month peak of $109.32 a barrel,
while copper gained 1.0 percent to $6,988 a tonne and gold hit a
one-month high of $1,322.50 an ounce as it continued to
recover from last month's three-year low.
    In emerging markets, the Turkish lira was near a one-month
high ahead of an anticipated interest rate rise on Tuesday,
while Hungarian stocks added to last week's steep losses on
worries about government plans to change foreign currency loan
rules. 
    Turkey's central bank has been selling heavy amounts of
foreign currency in recent weeks to lift the lira from record
lows and most economists in a Reuters poll see a rate rise of
50-100 bps when the central bank meets on Tuesday.
    "The benchmark ... for the market will be 100 bps ... less
than this and Turkish assets are likely to come under renewed
selling pressure," said Tim Ash, emerging markets strategist at
Standard Bank.

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