DUBLIN: Stock markets rallied yesterday and the US dollar hit a two-month high against the yen, as robust economic data from the United States and Germany left investors increasingly confident about the strength of the global economy. Attention also turned to Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony on monetary policy, and a meeting of Canada’s central bank tomorrow, for the latest signals on policy from major central banks. For now, unease about an end to an era of ultra-cheap money has given way to optimism about global growth, with Friday’s stronger-than-expected US non-farm payrolls report bolstering confidence. Data yesterday showed that exports from Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, rose more than expected in May. The pan-European STOXX 600 rallied 0.4pc, with banks and utilities the strongest sectors. Blue-chip stock markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt climbed 0.2 to 0.5pc. In Dublin, the Iseq was up around 0.70pc during the late session.
Bank of Ireland’s new shares started trading at €7.38 each – compared to the 24.60 cent each where they closed on Friday – after a 30-for-one share consolidation took effect at the start of the session. AIB shares were up half a percent at just over €5 each. European gains followed those in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3pc and Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.8pc to a one-week high. Oil prices declined, extending losses at the end of last week on the back of high drilling activity in the United States and ample supplies from both Opec and non-Opec nations.