World Shares Near Record High

World stocks held near a record high and the euro was on course for its best month in nine as strong U.S. data and corporate earnings plus the Federal Reserve’s commitment to support the economy fuelled investors’ appetite for risk.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of world stocks covering 50 markets dipped 0.1% but remained close to a record peak touched the previous day, up 5% on the month.

In Europe, euro Stoxx futures were steady and Britain’s FTSE 100 traded up 0.2%.

U.S. stock futures were down 0.3% after the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high.

Data on Thursday showed U.S. economic growth accelerated in the first quarter, fuelled by massive government aid to households and businesses.

That came against the backdrop of the Federal Reserve’s reassurance on Wednesday that it was not time yet to begin discussing any change in its easy monetary policy.

With just over a half of S&P 500 companies reporting earnings, about 87% beat market expectations, according to Refinitiv, the highest level in recent years.

For both the MSCI world index and the S&P500, analysts are expecting earnings in the next 12 months to recover to above pre-pandemic levels.