The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above the 32,000 level while the Stoxx 600 ended at its highest level since late February last year
Share prices in the US and Europe have reached their highest levels since the start of the pandemic on optimism that US President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package can reflate a ravaged global economy without triggering a surge in inflation.
Demand for US tech stocks sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the 32,000 level for a brief period while the Stoxx 600 ended at its highest level since late February last year.
The financial markets’ upbeat sentiment was reflected in a climb of over 27% in the US computer game retailer GameStop to $246.90. The shares surged to nearly $400 earlier this year when small investors banded together to take on hedge funds that had been hoping to cash in on the share price dropping.
The shares later dropped back to around $40, but have rallied over the past week after the company announced plans to move online. The move will be led by a major shareholder Ryan Cohen, the co-founder of an online pet product business.
Cohen took a big stake in GameStop last year when the shares were between $6 and $18, and has been pushing to move away from its traditional bricks-and-mortar business model to become a technology-driven business focused on gaming and digital experiences.
US markets were generally stronger on optimism that some of the money that will be sent directly to US households as part of Biden’s stimulus plan will be invested in the stock market. All the US markets finished higher with renewed appetite for tech stocks pushing the Nasdaq up highest at 3.7% with Tesla being one of the biggest gainers rising 19.6%.
Bitcoin was on course for the fifth consecutive day of gains at just above $54,000, and some analysts predicted it would reach a record $60,000 by the end of the week.
In London, the FTSE 100 ended 11 points up at 6,730, the highest in three weeks but still well below the level it hit in early 2020 before the pandemic struck.
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