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Dollar rises as gain in mining stocks offsets HSBC

Feb 21 2017 13:03
Adam Haigh and Cecile Gutscher

Sydney - Dollar bulls were handed the baton after a Federal Reserve policy maker reinforced the chances for a US interest-rate increase as soon as next month.

European stocks climbed as gains in mining companies overshadowed HSBC Holdings’ results.

The US currency advanced against most of its major peers after Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said a March hike isn’t off the table. Mining stocks climbed as surging commodities prices boosted corporate earnings.

HSBC fell the most since August 2015 after its profit missed estimates. Gold slumped and oil climbed toward $54 a barrel.

Global equities are trading near a record after US President Donald Trump’s election spurred optimism in economic growth amid signs of an inflation pickup.

Yet there remains caution in the markets, with the dollar trading below this year’s highs and investors clamouring for detail on spending plans under Trump’s administration.

Here are some events that investors are watching out for:

The Fed releases minutes this week from its most recent meeting, possibly giving investors a look into how members see Trump’s policies. Data should show the US housing market perking up at the start of the year.

The PMI is expected to rise slightly. It’s International Petroleum Week in London and top member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), government and company officials are attending.

Here are the main market moves:

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.5% as of 9:59 in London. The greenback rose after Market News International cited Harker, who votes on policy this year, saying a rate move next month is not "off the table at this point."

That followed hawkish congressional testimony last week from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The euro weakened 0.7%.

Stocks

The Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.2% after erasing early losses on economic data. Germany’s DAX gained 0.4%, led by automakers including Daimler and Volkswagen.

Banking stocks fell after HSBC missed earnings estimates and said it will boost cost-cutting measures and extend a stock buyback.

Mining stocks rallied following better-than-expected results by BHP Billiton and Anglo American.  

 Asian stocks rose, with South Korea’s benchmark climbing 0.9% to the highest level since July 2015. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.8%, the most in more than a month.

Japan’s Topix index, which reached a peak at the start of the year, is trading within a range of about three percentage points over the past 49 days - the narrowest since 1988.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

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