GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares post best week since mid-2013 after earnings boost

viernes 24 de octubre de 2014 17:02 GYT

* Microsoft, Procter & Gamble results lift U.S. shares
    * Ebola scare diminishes, boosting U.S. shares
    * U.S. Treasuries prices stable on reduced Ebola concerns
    * Euro rises ahead of European bank stress test results

 (Adds close of U.S. markets)
    By Sam Forgione
    NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on
Friday after strong corporate results from Microsoft and Procter
& Gamble and reduced concerns over the possible spread of Ebola
boosted U.S. shares and kept safe-haven U.S. Treasuries prices
    MSCI's all-country world equity index rose 3.1 percent for
the week, marking its biggest weekly percentage gain since July
2013, while the benchmark U.S. S&P 500 was up 5.5 percent from
its low on Oct. 15 and notched its best weekly gain in almost
two years. Solid U.S. corporate results bolstered shares over
the week. 
    News late on Thursday of the first person to test positive
for Ebola in New York City weighed on European shares, and while
the scare initially held back buying in the United States, U.S.
investors later shook off those concerns. 
    "Ebola is something you want to keep an eye on, but the
probability of widespread infection is pretty small, and I think
that's what the market believes," said Scott Wren, senior equity
strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis.
    "Stocks were oversold. Investors were over-worried about
global growth, they were over-worried about Ebola," he added on
reasons for the stock market rally over the week. 
    Corporate earnings were mixed. Microsoft and Procter &
Gamble rose following their quarterly results, offsetting a
plunge in Amazon after the online retailer reported an earnings
miss. Microsoft shares closed up 2.5 percent at $46.13,
while Amazon shares closed down 8.3 percent at $287.06.
    The euro rose against the dollar on the view that a weekend
update on the euro zone banking sector's financial health would
not reveal too many problems at the region's top banks. As of
the end of 2013, 25 banks failed the European stress tests, two
sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.
    MSCI's all-country world equity index was
last up 0.45 percent, to 409.23. The FTSEurofirst 300 index
 of top European shares closed down 0.34 percent at
    The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.76
percent at 16,805.41, while the S&P 500 closed up 0.71
percent at 1,964.58. The Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.69
percent at 4,483.72.
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a
basket of six currencies, fell 0.14 percent to 85.721. U.S.
10-year Treasury notes were last up 3/32 in price to
yield 2.2658 percent.
     Brent oil prices fell but were little changed on the week,
while U.S. crude oil futures continued to slide. Brent crude
 settled at $86.13 per barrel, down 70 cents for the day,
while U.S. crude settled down $1.08 at $81.01 per barrel.

 (Reporting by Sam Forgione in New York; Additional reporting by
Chuck Mikolajczak and Richard Leong in New York and Marc Jones
in London; Editing by James Dalgleish and Alan Crosby)