Global Markets Maintain Rally as BOJ Refrains from Adding to QE

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Global stock markets rallied again on Wednesday, rising in lockstep with commodities as the Bank of Japan (BOJ) refrained from adding to its record stimulus amid signs the country may be heading into recession.

In a press conference following the BOJ policy announcement Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said there was no need for additional stimulus at the current time, citing improving inflation trends from a year ago.

“Consumer prices are expected to stay around zero percent from a year earlier because of falling energy prices, but I think prices will gain upward momentum toward a 2% target once the impact of falling energy prices disappear,” the BOJ Governor said.

A growing number of economists expect the BOJ to raise interest rates later this month. For them, the BOJ likely wants to see more data before forging ahead with a more aggressive QE program.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 Index rose for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, climbing 136.88 points or 0.8% to 18,322.98. The benchmark gauge has rebounded more than 8% over the past five trading sessions.

Europe’s major averages also rose on Wednesday. London’s FTSE 100 climbed for a fifth consecutive day, adding 0.7%. The DAX in Frankfurt was up 1.2% as 20 of its blue-chips traded higher.

In Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.8%. The Ibex 35 Index in Madrid traded up 1.3%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 Index was up 0.7%.

Commodity prices continued to trend higher on Wednesday, as oil prices rose for a fourth consecutive day. Global benchmark Brent crude advanced 84 cents or 1.6% to $52.76 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. The Brent contract is up nearly $5 since October 1.

West Texas Intermediate, the US contract, rose 68 cents or 1.5% to $49.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The last time WTI settled above $50 a barrel was in July.

Precious metals rallied across the board, with gold futures climbing for a fourth straight day. Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, added $4.90 or 0.4% to $1,151.30 per troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copper prices rose $3.50 to $239.00 a pound. Platinum spot also rallied $6.37 to $942.25 per troy ounce.