Revived appetite for emerging markets helped Asian stocks hit a near six-month high on Wednesday, driving more modest gains in Europe and other developed markets, where future stimulus looks less clear-cut.
It was an easier start for European bourses after a difficult couple of days during which tensions have escalated in Ukraine and the European Central Bank has tempered expectations of a new asset-buying program. The pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 rose 0.6 percent as the main markets in London .FTSE, Paris .FCHI and Frankfurt .GDAXI helped claw back some of the 1.2 percent the FTSEurofirst has lost so far this week.
In the currency market, the euro and sterling both remained firm as the dollar retook a bit of the ground it has lost against a rallying yen in recent days. The International Monetary Fund predicted on Tuesday the global recovery would strengthen this year and next as output in richer nations picked up.
GREECE IS THE WORD
Core euro zone bonds were under pressure in early European trading. But periphery debt was back in favor as chatter focused on talk Greece was poised to announce its return to bond markets, just two years after a spectacular default that saw investors lose 70 percent of their cash.
Greece has hired a group of banks to manage the sale of a 2 billion euro five-year bond, Thomson Reuters markets service IFR reported last week, a move sources said would now happen on Thursday.
"The fact that Greece is returning is good news for the periphery in general," one trader said. The yield on Greek 10-year bonds traded at 5.995 pct, its lowest since prior to its first bailout in 2010.
Nervousness about Ukraine failed to temper the revival of risk appetite. The United States accused Russian agents and special forces on Tuesday of fomenting unrest, saying Moscow could be eyeing military action as it had in Crimea.
Read full article: Europe rides rebound in risk appetite, emerging markets shine