S&P breaks 1,900 as world share gains continue

Associated Press
A man watches an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Asian stock markets rose after Wall Street indexes hit record highs, with Japan's Nikkei 225 leading gains as the yen weakened. The Nikkei ended up 275.92 points at 14,425.44 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Global stock markets remained supported Tuesday by a buoyant Wall Street where investors brushed aside weak retail sales data.

Despite figures showing that retail sales rose by only 0.1 percent in April, the S&P 500 index went over 1,900 for the first time, trading up 0.3 percent at 1,902. The Dow Industrials was also solid, trading 0.2 percent higher to 16,733.

The recent run on Wall Street, which has seen both indexes set a series of all-time closing highs, has helped European markets advance. On Tuesday, Germany's DAX climbed 0.5 percent at 9,752.92. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent to 6,859.80 and France's CAC-40 was up 0.2 percent at 4,502.76.

"Clearly investors remain confident with owning risk at the present time and prices are a reflection of that," said David White, a trader at Spreadex.

The euro was in focus too after a report that Germany's Bundesbank central bank was willing to back another stimulus, including an interest rate cut, by the European Central Bank.

ECB head Mario Draghi last week all but promised further stimulus, saying the bank's board was "comfortable" with acting in June. The prospect of lower interest rates tends to send a currency lower.

Earlier in Asia, the Nikkei rose 2 percent, closing at 14,425.44 after a smaller-than-expected current account surplus for Japan weakened the yen. A weak yen usually boosts the share prices of Japanese exporters.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent to 22,352.38 while China's Shanghai Composite index closed 0.1 percent down at 2,050.73 after a run of data suggested that growth decelerated in April, though to still-robust levels.

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