Upbeat data helped send world shares to a fourth all-time high in less than a month on Thursday as Wall Street edged higher in anticipation of solid earnings, while crude oil gained on evidence of stronger demand in China.
Stocks were buoyed in Asia and elsewhere a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled a rise in interest rates would be less aggressive than some investors had expected.
Sentiment was boosted after China reported upbeat data on exports and imports for June, the latest sign that the global growth is picking up a bit.
That offset reports of higher production by key members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), lifting oil prices. The data pushed Asian shares up more than 1 percent <.miapj0000pus> and lifted MSCI`s 47-country gauge <.miwd00000pus> of global equity markets to a fresh record high with a gain of 0.29 percent.
"Yesterday`s move was in response to Yellen comments that should inflation remain below the 2 percent target rate, the central bank will be less aggressive in their tightening program," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.
"Today, the market is saying that`s old news and let`s focus on the matter at hand, which is earnings that will be coming out in earnest this week," Stovall said.
U.S. shares rose in anticipation second-quarter earnings will grow 7.8 percent for S