S&P 500 smashes through 2007 peak despite leaked Fed minutes suggesting QE slowdown

US MARKETS closed at their highest ever levels yesterday, with the S&P 500 index breaking through its peak of five and a half years ago despite the accidental release of Federal Reserve minutes suggesting a move towards tighter monetary policy.

The Dow Jones index, which had beaten 2007’s levels earlier this year, reached a new all-time high of 14,802, up 0.88 per cent, while the S&P was up 1.22 per cent to 1,587.73, smashing through the previous record set in October 2007.

This came despite the release of Fed minutes suggesting the central bank is ready to slow down its latest round of money printing. The notes from the Fed committee’s March meeting, which were accidentally leaked yesterday, said that many committee members were ready to slow down asset purchases if the US economy continues to improve.

However, recent weak jobs data led to suggestions that quantitative easing may not be scaled back for some months, meaning that stocks were not spooked by the minutes.

Indices were led higher by banking and technology firms, and markets round the world mirrored the rise. The FTSE 100 was up 1.17 per cent, its third successive day of rises.