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Markets hit milestones

World stocks extended 12-month highs hit on Wednesday after results from JPMorgan Chase & Co boosted investor optimism over an economic recovery, sending the dollar to 14-month lows and oil and gold higher.

business Updated: Oct 14, 2009 21:24 IST

World stocks extended 12-month highs hit on Wednesday after results from JPMorgan Chase & Co boosted investor optimism over an economic recovery, sending the dollar to 14-month lows and oil and gold higher.

US stock futures rose 1.5 per cent, paving the way for a higher Wall Street open, as the US bank's results beat forecasts, adding to a brightening mood after chip-maker Intel Corp posted strong earnings late on Tuesday.

The dollar dropped to a 14-month low against a basket of currencies and the euro on expectations that US interest rates will stay at very low levels for some time.

Low rates will reduce the attractiveness of US assets and ease demand for the dollars to buy them.

In early New York trade, the euro was last up 0.3 per cent $1.4900 after going to its highest since August 2008. Many in the market see the euro climbing higher and some analysts see a break above $1.50 in coming weeks.

With Chinese trade numbers and UK and euro zone data also upbeat, MSCI's all-country world index rose 1.1 per cent to 295.32, a level last seen in October a year ago.

Markets now await US September retail sales data to gauge the strength of consumers in the world's biggest economy. Sales excluding the volatile auto sector are expected to have risen for a second month.

Results from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are also due on Thursday.

Gold hit a record above $1,070 an ounce and oil rose to a 2009 peak above $75 a barrel as the dollar slipped to its weakest in more than a year against the euro and a currency basket.