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Global Markets: Brent hits $70/bbl before retreating; equities rise with energy

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Caroline Valetkevitch

(Reuters) - prices hit $70 a barrel on signs of tightening stocks but settled off that level on Thursday, while a jump in energy helped lift U.S. stocks.

The energy index <.SPNY> jumped 2 percent, leading gains among sectors. Optimism about upcoming U.S. earnings also helped U.S. stocks, which resumed their 2018 rally to hit record closing highs.

"The unifying factor of today's move and this whole week is a heightened confidence in the pace of economic activity. That helps explain the demand picture which has up at $70," said Scott Clemons, at Brown Brothers Harriman, in

futures settled 6 cents higher at $69.26, after hitting $70.05 during the session, its highest level since November 2014. Brent's settlement still represents a three-year closing high.

Brent has gained 5 percent since the beginning of the year, picking up from its late-year surge. U.S. settled at $63.80, up 23 cents, the highest since December 2014.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 205.6 points, or 0.81 percent, to 25,574.73, the 500 <.SPX> gained 19.33 points, or 0.70 percent, to 2,767.56 and the <.IXIC> added 58.21 points, or 0.81 percent, to 7,211.78.

The pan-European index <.FTEU3> lost 0.26 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.38 percent.

The jumped against the dollar as the signalled it could begin to wind down its 2.5-trillion stimulus programme this year.

The ECB should revisit its communication stance in early 2018, accounts of its December meeting showed, suggesting that policymakers could soon start preparing for the end of the bank's massive stimulus.

The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.44 percent, with the up 0.7 percent to $1.2029.

yields fell after disputed a report that its government officials had recommended the country slow or halt its purchases of the U.S. bonds. report had lifted yields on the 10-year government bond to a 10-month high on Wednesday.

10-year notes last rose 4/32 in price to yield 2.5367 percent, from 2.549 percent late on Wednesday.

Bitcoin was 4.8-percent lower at $14,168.95 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange after said it plans to ban cryptocurrency trading.

(Additional reporting by in London and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by and Diane Craft)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 03:27 IST