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US stocks rise as treasuries, dollar retreat

Apr 20 2017 15:50
Bloomberg: V. Ramakrishnan

London - US stocks rebounded while the dollar and Treasuries slipped, as major assets continued to churn in tight ranges amid corporate results and a string of potential geopolitical catalysts.

The S&P 500 Index halted a two-day slide on earnings from American Express and Qualcomm.

The greenback slipped against most of its major peers after its best day since March. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index found support from better-than-expected results of food producers Unilever and Nestlé SA. Oil stabilised on signs of output cuts could be extended, but was a long way from erasing Wednesday’s slump.

Investors are facing a test of their mettle as a series of elections in Europe and tensions around North Korea and Syria ratchet up market risks. US President Donald Trump’s travails trying to implement his fiscal agenda are also clouding the growth picture, while the Federal Reserve’s plan for monetary tightening looks increasingly unsure.

“This political uncertainty’s not going away for a while,”  said Ben Kumar, a London-based investment manager at Seven Investment Management, which oversees about £10bn. “Markets are trying to get their heads around whether that will actually affect company earnings.”

Here are the events that investors will be watching:

US Vice President Mike Pence continues his Asia-Pacific trip with a stop in Jakarta. The first round of voting in the French election is on Sunday and the two leading candidates will run off in a winner-takes-all contest on May 7.

And here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks 

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 2 344.83 at 14:31 in New York, rebounding after a 0.2% drop on Wednesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged higher by 0.1% at 13:30 after swinging between gains and losses.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2% after rising 0.5% on Wednesday. The pound rose 0.2% to $1.2804 and the euro climbed 0.3% to $1.0746. The yen advanced 0.2% to 109.00 per dollar, following a 0.4% decline on Wednesday.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 2.23 after a five basis point advance on Wednesday. German government bond yields with a similar maturity added three basis points to 0.24%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate oil increased 0.2% to $50.55 a barrel, after tumbling 3.8% on Wednesday when a report showed US gasoline supplies increased for the first time since February, while crude output keeps rising. Gold fell 0.1% to $1 279.23 an ounce.

Asia

Japan’s Topix index added 0.1%. The Hang Seng advanced 1%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi index was up 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite was little changed, after four days of losses brought it to the lowest level since February 8.

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equities  |  wall street  |  markets

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