Investing.com - The Dow and the S&P closed at record highs on Friday, as U.S. stocks notched up a third successive week of gains as monetary easing by world central banks fuelled optimism over the outlook for growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.24% and ended the week with a 1% gain.
The S&P 500 rose 0.43% on Friday, reaching new record highs and gained 1.2% for the week. The Nasdaq surged 0.80%, extending the week's gains to 1.7%, the highest close since November 2000.
The Federal Reserve is purchasing USD85 billion a month of government bonds currently and Chairman Ben Bernanke has pledged to maintain the asset purchase program as long as the U.S. unemployment rate stays above 6.5% and the outlook for inflation does not rise above 2.5%.
Asian markets were broadly higher on Friday. Japan's Nikkei jumped 2.9% to close at the highest level since January 2008 after the yen fell to more than four-year lows against the dollar, boosting the earnings outlook for exporters.
China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.6%. Australia's ASX 200 index added 0.2% on Friday and was up 1.5% for the week, its third consecutive weekly gain.
In Europe, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.4% on Friday, tracking gains in Japanese stocks.
Germany's DAX climbed 0.2% after official data showed that both exports and imports were higher in March, following falls in February. France's CAC 40 advanced 0.6%, while Britain's FTSE 100 closed up 0.5%
Elsewhere, oil prices fell sharply as the broadly stronger dollar made crude more expensive for traders using other currencies, with contracts for June delivery settling at USD95.94 a barrel, down 0.5%.
Gold sank to a two week low, with futures for June delivery dropping 1.5% to settle at USD1,446.65 a troy ounce.
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