Global stocks scaled record highs on Friday, with Asian equities rising for the fifth straight session, as signs the Federal Reserve will pursue a gradual rate tightening path and hopes of a strong earnings season lifted appetite for risk assets.
The MSCI World Index <.miwd00000pus> was marginally higher early on Friday, hitting a new all-time high. It is on track to end the week 1.6 percent higher.
MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.miapj0000pus> advanced 0.25 percent to its highest level in two years. It`s set for a 3.2 percent gain for the week.
Japan`s Nikkei <.n225> added 0.2 percent, poised for a weekly rise of 1.05 percent.
Wall Street ended with gains on Thursday, with the major indexes <.dji><.spx><.ixic> up between 0.1 and 0.2 percent, as stocks basked in comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the central bank`s rate hikes could be gradual, given persistently low inflation despite an improving economy. [nL1N1K30F8]
Expectations that S