Dazed dollar steadies, shares on best run in two years – Reuters

7 months ago Comments Off on Dazed dollar steadies, shares on best run in two years – Reuters

NEW YORK World equity markets were poised for a fifth week of gains on Friday, their best run in more than two years, as a 2016 high for oil, the dollar’s recent decline and a more optimistic view of the economy combined to boost investor confidence.

Stocks in Europe gained and Wall Street rose for a third day as the dollar steadied after a third week of declines that took it to its lowest against other major currencies .DXY since October.

The dollar had weakened earlier in the week after the U.S. Federal Reserve scaled back its forecasts for rate increases. On Friday, the European Central Bank’s chief economist, Peter Praet, indicated the ECB could further loosen monetary policy.

A rising dollar in 2015 weighed on the global economy while its recent decline has helped push up oil prices and put an end to market concerns over a soaring dollar and weak oil prices, said David Kelly, chief market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in New York.

“People have woken from a nightmare,” Kelly said, referring to market turmoil in January and February. Given how low bond and cash yields are, it’s hard not to buy stocks, he said.

“To me the anomaly here is not that the economy isn’t doing well, it’s that bond valuations are priced for a depression,” he said.

MSCI’s all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS, a gauge of equity performance in 46 countries, rose 0.21 percent. The index is set for its best five-week rally since early 2014.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 of leading regional shares rose 0.24 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 86.43 points, or 0.49 percent, to 17,567.92. The S&P 500 .SPX added 6.28 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,046.87 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC gained 6.42 points, or 0.13 percent, to 4,781.40.

Oil rose above $42 a barrel, hitting its highest this year and extending a rally into a fourth week, on expectations of a production freeze by major exporters, stronger seasonal demand and dollar weakness.

Brent crude’s front-month contract LCOc1 was up 64 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $42.18 a barrel after touching a 2016 high of $42.54.

U.S. crude CLc1 gained 52 cents to $40.72 a barrel.

Oil prices have surged by more than 50 percent from 12-year lows hit in December after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) toyed with a production freeze that lifted Brent from about $27.

The dollar index recovered from a five-month low but was still on track for a third straight week of losses, as investors cut favorable bets after the Fed appeared cautious about raising interest rates at a steady pace this year.

The dollar was mostly flat against the yen, having hit a 17-month low on Thursday, with traders worried that a sharp rise in the Japanese currency would elicit intervention from the Bank of Japan.

The dollar traded at 111.36 yen JPY=, off a low of 110.67 plumbed on Thursday.

The benchmark U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR rose 9/32 in price to yield 1.8732 percent.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Dazed dollar steadies, shares on best run in two years – Reuters}