Saharan sand isn't the only thing blowing into Britain this morning: the FTSE 100 - and world markets generally - have hit their highest levels since the beginning of the financial crisis. Lovely.
Results from ASOS that caused its share price to dip 22% weren't enough to prevent the FTSE 100 from rising 0.26% to almost 6,670 this morning. Looking at what major markets have done over the past few years shows just how far we've come since the dark days of 2007 (dark blue is the FTSE 100, browny yellow is the Dow Jones, green is the S&P 500, pink is Germany’s DAX and pale blue is France’s CAC 40):
Source: Yahoo Finance
Several factors have contributed to this: firstly, after several months of sluggish activity created by bad weather, manufacturing in the US accelerated in March, suggesting it is beginning to emerge from the quagmire. Secondly, Greece’s borrowing costs have dipped below 6.4%, from 35%+ at the beginning of 2012. Thirdly, things look like they might not be quite as bad as we thought in the Chinese economy.
But success is a transient beast, and various scenarios are just waiting to knock investors’ confidence: earthquakes in Chile, for example, which have pushed copper prices up, and the fact that Japan still hasn't hit its inflation target of 2% (a key measure of whether Abenomics has been successful or not). Still, a good day for investors.