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U.S. stocks rise as Syria fears ease; yield curve flattens

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street closed higher on Monday as investors appeared less concerned about possible retaliation for U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria, and the yield curve reached its flattest level in over a decade.

Saturday's strikes were the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian Bashar al-Assad, whose ally is facing further U.S. economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.

"The catalyst had been the concern about trade issues, which is calming down. The bombing in looks to be an event rather than an ongoing thing and it was a coalition," said Jeffrey Carbone, managing partner, Cornerstone Wealth, in Huntersville,

"Now we get to concentrate on fundamentals," he said, adding that earnings season is beginning as economic data has shown an accelerating

said on Monday that he will nominate as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman, adding another hawkish voice at the central

The flattened the spread between five- and 30-year Treasury bonds to 34.6 basis points, the lowest in over 10 years.

Expectations of further interest rate increases lifted the short end of the curve earlier in the day, led by the two-year government , which hit 2.394, its highest since September 2008.

The <.DJI> rose 212.9 points, or 0.87 percent, to 24,573.04, the <.SPX> gained 21.54 points, or 0.81 percent, to 2,677.84 and the <.IXIC> added 49.64 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,156.29.

Hopes that the strike against would not escalate also spurred investors to shed the U.S. dollar.

The greenback fell 0.41 percent against a basket of major currencies <.DXY>, while the euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.2378.

European shares eased, adding to a mixed picture from lower Asian stock markets and suggesting that a degree of caution remains.

The pan-European index <.FTEU3> lost 0.46 percent. MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS>, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.39 percent, though emerging market stocks dipped 0.58 percent.

The yields on German and 10-year U.S. government bonds, among the most liquid and safe assets in the world, touched their highest levels in nearly two weeks and four weeks, respectively.

That was partly as attention turned to what is expected to be a robust first-quarter U.S. corporate earnings season, which begins in earnest this week.

Some other traditional safe-haven bets held firmer, with gold and Japan's yen edging higher.

Dealers were keeping a wary eye on Japanese politics after a survey showed support for had fallen to 26.7 percent, the lowest since he took office in 2012.

Meanwhile, fell on waning investor concern about U.S. crude fell 1.62 percent to $66.30 per barrel and Brent was last at $71.49, down 1.5 percent on the day.

For Reuters' Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets, open a window on Eikon by pressing F9 and type in 'Live Markets' in the

(Additional reporting by Richard Leong, and in New York; Editing by and Alistair Bell)

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

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 02:14 IST