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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares set for weekly gain as bonds stabilise
May 15, 2015 / 8:32 AM / 3 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares set for weekly gain as bonds stabilise

* #Yields ease back after rollercoaster unwind

* Europe shares follow Asia, U.S. higher

* Credit Suisse says bonds entering bear market

* Euro set for fifth straight week of gains

By Lionel Laurent

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Global shares were on track for a weekly rise on Friday, with Europe following Asia higher, as bond-market jitters eased after a rollercoaster unwind of bets linked to the European Central Bank’s stimulus plan.

European bond yields were down across the board and top shares were in positive territory, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 equity index up 0.4 percent, with traders pointing to a calmer end to the week after the Ascension Day holiday on Thursday and recent jumps in German yields.

The euro fell below $1.14 as the spike in yields stalled, but the single currency was still on track for its fifth straight week of gains.

Some cautioned against reading too much into the relative market calm, however, with Credit Suisse saying bond yields would keep rising in the longer term as improving economic data and expectations of higher inflation pushed more investors to move out of traditional safe-haven assets.

“We believe that bonds are entering a multi-year bear market,” Credit Suisse strategists wrote in a note to clients, adding they also had an “underweight” rating on high-yielding, bond-like equities.

The MSCI World equity index was up 0.2 percent, heading for a weekly gain of 0.7 percent and not far from an all-time high hit last month.

The health of the U.S. economy and direction of interest rates remained in focus, with more U.S. data due later in the session. The S&P 500 index closed at a record high on Thursday after economic data quashed bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates sooner rather than later.

Asian shares were higher but China stocks slumped after the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission said the watchdog’s recent move to accelerate approvals for initial public offerings won’t have a big impact on the market - which some interpreted as a signal IPO activity could be stepped up further.

Emerging market shares looked on track to snap their two week losing streak on Friday, clocking up some modest gains. The Bank of Korea held interest rates steady at a record low for a second consecutive month on Friday.

In commodities, oil prices were little changed on Friday but were set to end the week slightly higher, buoyed by a weaker dollar and forecasts for lower growth in U.S. crude output. London copper was set to close flat for a second week on Friday, not too far from 2015 highs. (Additional reporting by Anirban Nag, John Geddie and Karin Strohecker; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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