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World stocks above 4-week low, oil rises

May 19 2011 13:52 Reuters

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London - World stocks rose from this week's four-week low on Thursday and the euro erased earlier losses as a rebound in commodity prices encouraged investors to buy back risky assets.

Wall Street was set for a firmer open later, a day after stronger-than-expected earnings results from Dell helped investors pick up bargains in technology stocks.

Commodity trader Glencore made a steady market debut with shares trading just above the widely expected launch price of 530 pence, contributing to a firmer tone in other commodity shares.

"Markets had a bounce yesterday and momentum will continue ... with bargain hunting coming in," said Matt Brown, trader at Catalyst Markets. "Names that have sold off are starting to look interesting again." The MSCI world equity index and the Thomson Reuters global stock index were up around 0.3% on the day.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose over 1 percent. The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas index and STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index both rose 1% to become the day's top performers.

"Long-term demand from China is really driving up commodity stocks and ultimately that is the reason why investors put money into the Glencore IPO," said Yusuf Heusen, senior sales trader at IG Index.

"Most traders putting their money in Glencore are in it for the long term and expect demand for commodities to remain."

Emerging stocks were up slightly on the day.

US stock futures were up 0.3%.

US crude oil rose 0.4% to $100.47 a barrel after the previous day's data showed a surprise drop in crude stockpiles in the United States, the world's biggest consumer.

Collateral uncertainty

A brighter risk climate helped the euro rebound to $1.4277 after an earlier decline following warnings that the European central bank would be unable to accept Greece's government bonds as collateral in the event of a restructuring of its debt.

Bund futures fell 30 ticks.

German daily Financial Times Deutschland reported European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet had warned the bank would stop accepting Greek bonds as collateral if Greece asked investors for a voluntary extension of bond maturities.

Another ECB official Juergen Stark said a restructuring of Greek debt would make it impossible for the ECB to continue to accept its bonds as collateral in liquidity operations.

European finance ministers broke a taboo this week by acknowledging for the first time that some form of restructuring might be required to ease Greece's debt burden, which at 150% of annual output is among the highest in the world.

The dollar fell a quarter percent against a basket of major currencies. It briefly hit a three-week high around 81.96 yen thanks to a rebound in US bond yields from 2011 lows around 3.1%.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve's April policy meeting, released on Wednesday, showed a few central bank officials saw a rise in inflation risks that suggested tightening of monetary policy might be necessary sooner than currently anticipated.

bonds  |  jse  |  markets
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