Global stocks shrug off German uncertainty, Wall Street at records

New York - Global equities pushed higher on Tuesday, with leading US indices ending at fresh records as investors shrugged off continued political uncertainty in Germany.

Germany's president held talks with party leaders in a last-ditch attempt to save the EU's top economy from the political turmoil sparked by the collapse of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition talks.
But equity markets were unperturbed by the uncertainty, pushing higher across Asia, Europe and the US. The euro also edged higher after falling sharply late on Monday.

"It seems investors have faith that Germany will find a way to move past its current uncertainty without the kind of performance-damaging aftermath seen by some of its peers," said financial analyst Connor Campbell at Spreadex, referencing countries such as Britain and Spain.

Traders believe of Germany that "a worst-case scenario will not unfold, either because a political solution will be reached or because the ECB will do all that is necessary with its monetary policy to fill any confidence gaps," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Shares in car makers helped drive the DAX 0.8% higher, with Volkswagen accelerating 3.0% after the company was more optimistic about earnings thanks to an offensive on SUVs. BMW and Daimler also rose.

Wall Street records

Paris and London also rose, while all three major US stock indices finished at records. The tech-rich Nasdaq surged 1.1% behind hefty gains by Apple, Facebook and other tech giants.

The US economic calendar has been relatively light this week, but data releases, such as Tuesday's report on October existing-home sales, bested expectations.

"After the selloff last week and the week before, we saw buyers coming in," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Annuities.

"Today's package of data are showing the economy growing at more than just a solid pace."

Among other markets, Hong Kong pushed to a 10-year high, with Tencent up 2.4%, extending Monday's surge that makes it the first Asian member of the exclusive club of global firms with a market capitalization above $500bn.

The Chinese internet giant was about $520bn, around the same as Facebook.

On currency markets, the embattled Turkish lira struck a record low against the US dollar as investors took fright over an impending trial in the United States and changes to banking regulations.

The latest drop followed the delay on Monday of a scheduled trial in the United States of Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy chief executive of Turkish lender Halkbank, accused of defying US sanctions on Iran.

The trial has caused anger in Ankara, with the Turkish government on Monday calling the case "political."

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