News / USA

World Stock Indexes Jump on US Economic Boost

A man walks past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 14, 2012.
A man walks past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 14, 2012.
VOA News
Stock markets in Asia and Europe surged Friday as investors cheered the U.S. central bank's aggressive actions to boost the sluggish American economy.
 
The Hong Kong index advanced nearly 3 percent and the Tokyo market almost 2 percent. Stock indexes in London, Frankfurt and Paris closed higher, while key exchanges in the U.S. moved upward after a big surge late Thursday.
 
One stock analyst in Hong Kong, Francis Lun of Lyncean Holdings, said investors had expected the U.S. Federal Reserve to act, but nonetheless welcomed the central bank's latest attempt to spur hiring in the slack American labor market and to keep interest rates low for the next several years.
 
"Of course, the market has been expecting the news, and welcomed the news, and we see today that equity markets in Asia, all around, rise strongly, and the Hang Seng Index up almost 500 points," he said. "So it is a good measure, a market-boosting measure, and I think that the Hong Kong market will rise a little bit more."
 
Some U.S. analysts remained skeptical that the Fed's action to buy $40 billion a month of securities supported by real estate loans to put more money into the world's largest economy would make much difference in the economy.  The central bank has already bought more than $2 trillion worth of securities since the world recession hit in 2008, but U.S. job growth remains weak and the jobless rate has been above an unusually high 8 percent level for 43 straight months.
 
Some critics also say the central bank action could eventually lead to increased prices for U.S. consumer goods, even as the Fed, for now, is clearly intent on boosting hiring in the labor market and has concluded that inflation is under control.
 
The U.S. government reported Friday that more expensive gasoline pushed consumer prices ahead in August by the most in three years -- six-tenths of a percent. But it said that overall inflation remains tame, up only 1.7 percent over the last year.
 
In addition to buying securities, the Federal Reserve said it would extend the timetable to keep its key lending rate near zero percent from late 2014 at least through mid-2015. The central bank said it expects that eased financing "will remain appropriate for a considerable time," even after the economy strengthens from its current sluggish pace.
 
The central bank maintains political neutrality in the United States. But its latest stimulus lands in the final stages of the country's presidential election campaign, where the state of the economy is the key issue.
 
Republican challenger Mitt Romney says the incumbent Democrat, President Barack Obama, has failed in his oversight of the American economy and that he would not reappoint Fed chairman Ben Bernanke when his term ends in early 2014.
 
Romney attacked the Fed's latest round of monetary easing, calling it a "sugar high" that will cut the value of the dollar and the savings accounts of Americans.
 
As he campaigns for a second term in the White House, President Obama has pointed to 30 months of job growth in the U.S. He says Romney would return to policies that led to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930's.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Obama Pledges 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace Christmas precisely because of its non-religious glamor and commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid