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Luxury stocks rally as conspicuous spending goes global

Booming markets, rise of Chinese middle class help drive trend

A new Porsche model drew a crowd at a Tokyo shopping mall earlier this month.

TOKYO -- Investors have driven up the price of luxury-brand stocks around the world, expecting opulent consumption to increase amid the global economic recovery, high stock prices and the growing ranks of the middle class in China.

The S&P Global Luxury Index, which consists of 80 companies that provide upmarket goods and services, has been hovering around 2,650 so far this month, the highest level since its launch in 2011. It has risen 37% this year, far surpassing the 20% range for major stock indexes in Japan and the U.S.

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