Global stocks rise as commodities rally; dollar falls vs yen

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 11, 2017 11:01 hrs
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York

Stocks rose worldwide on Tuesday supported by a rally in commodities such as copper and silver, while the dollar fell against the yen on investor caution ahead of a news conference by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday.

European stock markets, which had opened broadly lower, ended the day on a firmer note, while Wall Street shares traded higher, with the Nasdaq Composite hitting an intra-day record peak.

Commodities such as copper gained on further signs of a pick-up in China's economy. Oil prices were lower on the day but were off their weakest levels of the previous session when they fell nearly 4 percent.

In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent to 19,917.12, while the S&P 500 was up 0.3 percent at 2,275.83. Nasdaq gained 0.5 percent to 5,558.40.

"Significant fiscal stimulus is being discussed when the U.S. economy is already healthy," said Richard Bernstein, chief investment officer at Richard Bernstein Advisors (RBA) in New York. RBA oversees about $3 billion in assets.

"On paper, this would imply stronger stock markets, stronger commodity markets, and weaker bond markets," he added.

U.S. stocks have risen in anticipation of easier fiscal policy based on Trump's campaign promises of increased infrastructure spending and tax cuts.

European stocks were also higher, with Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index adding 0.1 percent at 1,439.26. Earlier the index hit a record high.

The dollar, meanwhile, slid 0.2 percent to 115.84 yen .

Uncertainty ahead of Trump's comments on Wednesday dampened demand for the dollar. Analysts also said traders were watching hearings for his choices for senior administration posts, which started on Tuesday with U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, picked for attorney general.

The Trump factor also pressured the Mexican peso , which hit a record low against the dollar. The greenback was last up 1.3 percent at 21.655 pesos.

Sterling, meanwhile, hit a fresh 10-week low against the dollar earlier in the session but recovered in New York. It was last little changed at $1.2153 .

The outlook for the pound remained shaky, especially after weekend comments by Prime Minister Theresa May saying she was not interested in Britain keeping "bits" of its EU membership.

A revival in worries that Britain could be headed for a "hard Brexit", in which it chooses to take full control of immigration and give up access to the euro zone single market, reverberated across financial markets, lifting demand for safe-haven assets such as German government bonds and gold . Gold rose to its highest in more than a month.

Oil prices continued their decline, with Brent crude down 1.8 percent at $53.95 a barrel. U.S. crude also fell 1.6 percent, to $51.13.


With little major U.S. data on the calendar, attention turned to Trump's news conference on Wednesday, his first since winning the election.

"Cautiousness ahead of the news conference is turning into a bit of optimism, if you look at how Trump's tweets are playing out in the market," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK.

Yields in the U.S. Treasury market were higher at 2.381 percent, with the benchmark 10-year note down 1/32 in price.

In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6 percent, to 441.02. Japan's benchmark Nikkei average closed down 0.8 percent at 19,301.44, while the broader Topix shed 0.7 percent to 1,542.31.

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