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World shares rise to fresh peak; oil gains

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Upbeat data helped send world to a fourth all-time high in less than a month on Thursday as edged higher in anticipation of solid earnings, while gained on evidence of stronger demand in

Stocks were buoyed in Asia and elsewhere a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled a rise in interest rates would be less aggressive than some investors had expected.

Sentiment was also boosted after reported upbeat data on exports and imports for June, the latest sign that growth is picking up a bit.

That offset reports of higher production by key members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), lifting prices. The Chinese trade data pushed Asian up more than 1 percent <.MIAPJ0000PUS> and lifted MSCI's 47-country gauge <.MIWD00000PUS> of equity to a fresh record high with a gain of 0.34 percent.

"Yesterday's move was in response to Yellen comments that should inflation remain below the 2 percent target rate, the central bank will be less aggressive in their tightening programme," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

"Today, the market is saying that's old and let's focus on the matter at hand, which is earnings that will be coming out in earnest this week," Stovall said.

U.S. rose in anticipation second-quarter earnings will grow 7.8 percent for S&P 500 companies, according to Thomson data.

Major banks, including JPMorgan Chase , Citigroup and Wells Fargo , will report results on Friday. JPMorgan rose 0.64 percent, Wells Fargo gained 0.78 percent and Citigroup added 0.15 percent, helping the financial sector to boost the benchmark S&P 500 the most.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> closed up 20.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,553.09. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 4.58 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,447.83 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> rose 13.27 points, or 0.21 percent, to 6,274.44.

In Europe, the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> of leading rose 0.29 percent to close at 1,518.91.


Encouraging U.S. economic data initially supported the dollar. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month and producer prices unexpectedly rose in June. The data likely will keep the Fed on track for a third interest rate increase this year.

The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.02 percent, while the euro slid 0.06 percent to $1.1403. The Japanese yen weakened 0.09 percent versus the greenback at 113.24 per dollar.

Yellen told a Senate panel on Thursday in a hearing focused on regulatory reform and a discussion of lagging productivity that it would be "quite challenging" for U.S. growth to reach a 3-percent target set by President Donald Trump.

prices rose after dropping in recent weeks to levels not seen since the end of last year as investors lost faith in a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers to reduce output.

U.S. shale production also has risen sharply.

Brent crude rose 68 cents to settle at $48.42 a barrel. U.S. light crude settled up 59 cents at $46.08.

U.S. Treasury yields rose after falling for three straight days, tracking gains in German bond yields with solid U.S. economic data supporting their trend higher.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.3426 percent.

The German 10-year Bund rose 2 basis points to yield 0.533 percent .

(Additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in New York; Ankur Banerjee and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)