Stocks rally on G20 pledges

Optimism over agreement on global economic strategy spurs gains in Asian and US markets.

    Amid the cheer, analysts warn that the global economy remains weak [AFP]

    The S&P 500 rose 23.3 points or 2.87 per cent - a rise of 23.3 per cent from 12-year lows reached early last month, cutting its year-to-date losses to around 7.6 per cent.

    Raw materials surge

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    Oil prices also rose by more than eight per cent above $52 a barrel on hopes that demand will again increase after world leaders at the G20 summit agreed to pump an additional $1.1 trillion into the global economy through extra funding for financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.

    Copper surged to a five-month high and other industrial metals, including nickel, tin, zinc and lead, all rose on hopes of an economic recovery.

    But while investors bid up asset prices in reaction to the G20 summit, analysts cautioned that the global economy remained weak, as indicated by this week's rise in US crude oil inventories that hit a 16-year high.

    And unemployment is still high in the world's biggest economy, as the number of US workers filing new claims for benefits increased to its highest level in more than 26 years, according to a government report on Thursday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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