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Shares hit two-month high as oil edges up

Shares hit two-month high as oil edges up

NEW YORK: A late bounce on Wall Street, backed by a rise in oil prices, helped propel a measure of global equity markets to its highest in nearly two months on Wednesday.

The move higher in crude futures, which rose about 1 percent despite a report that showed U.S. stockpiles at a record high, spurred U.S. stocks to a higher close on the day.

The march upward by oil likely shows selling in the commodity has “washed out,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

Oil production has hit record levels and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, has been unable to come to an agreement within its ranks or with other producers to cut or even halt production levels.

Oil prices have continued to rise despite any news of a reduction in supply or increase in demand, suggesting that sellers have largely exited the marketplace, Ablin added.

“It doesn’t mean go back to the races,” he said, “but I think that uncertainty of how low could it go, at least in many investors’ minds, quite possibly has been answered.”

Stocks were also underpinned by a report showing private sector employers in the U.S. added 214,000 jobs in February, beating economists’ expectations and adding to strong manufacturing and construction spending data released earlier this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34.24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,899.32, the S&P 500 gained 8.1 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,986.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 13.83 points, or 0.29 percent, to 4,703.42.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s stock markets rose 0.9 percent to its highest since Jan. 7.

European and Asian stocks rose as stimulus measures in China and expected easing in Europe renewed global investors’ appetite for risk.

European markets closed up for a fifth straight day, backed by the prospect of further monetary easing by the European Central Bank. That five-day growth spurt marked their longest winning streak in five months.

The FTSEuroFirst index rose 0.7 percent to a one-month high of 1341.88.

Investors also continued to take heart from additional stimulus measures from China, which earlier this week cut its bank reserve requirements.

Asian stocks rose to a two-month high with Japan’s and China’s main indexes both up more than 4 percent.

U.S. Treasury yields rose as the job market data reinforced the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were down 1/32 in price to yield 1.8371 percent, having earlier touched 1.87 percent, the highest since Feb. 5.

The dollar was down 0.55 percent against the yen, at 113.85 yen, after gaining more than 1 percent on Tuesday.

Gold rose 0.7 percent to $1,240.38 an ounce as the dollar turned lower.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

Courtesy : BRecorder



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