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US stocks rise as oil, bond prices fall on ebbing Syria fears

US stocks rise as oil, bond prices fall on ebbing Syria fears

NEW YORK: Wall Street added to gains on Monday while oil and government bond prices fell on the view that this weekend’s U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria were unlikely to mark the start of a broader conflict.

Saturday’s strikes were the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia, which is facing further economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.

“There is a feeling (in the market) that there will be no follow-up action,” Rabobank fixed income analyst Lyn Graham-Taylor said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 245.75 points, or 1.01 percent, to 24,605.89, the S&P 500 gained 25.42 points, or 0.96 percent, to 2,681.72 and the Nasdaq Composite  added 59.34 points, or 0.83 percent, to 7,165.99.

“The action was well-received … and that’s giving a chance for investors to focus on macro news and earnings,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Healthcare shares also rose after positive updates on a cancer drug from Merck, whose shares were up 2.4 percent.

Hopes that the strike against Syria would not escalate further also spurred investors to shed the US dollar.

The dollar index fell 0.4 percent, with the euro  rose 0.41 percent to $1.2379.

European shares eased, adding to a mixed picture from lower Asian stock markets and suggesting that a degree of caution prevails.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.46 percent. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe , which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.49 percent, though emerging market stocks dipped 0.50 percent.

The yields on German and 10-year US government bonds, among the most liquid and safe assets in the world, were the highest in nearly two weeks and four weeks, respectively.

That was partly as attention turned to what is expected to be a robust first-quarter US corporate earnings season, which begins in earnest this week.

Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 2/32 in price to yield 2.834 percent, compared with 2.828 percent late on Friday.

The 30-year bond was higher, however, rising 2/32 in price to yield 3.0327 percent, from 3.036 percent.

Some other traditional safe-haven bets held firmer, with gold and Japan’s yen edging higher.

Dealers were keeping a wary eye on Japanese politics after a survey showed support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had fallen to 26.7 percent, the lowest since he took office in late 2012.

Meanwhile, oil prices were lower. Brent crude was last at $71.39, down 1.64 percent on the day, with a rise in US drilling for new production dragging on prices.

US crude oil futures settled at $66.22 per barrel, down 1.74 percent, or $1.17.

For Reuters’ Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets, open a news window on Reuters Eikon by pressing F9 and type in ‘Live Markets’ in the search bar.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

Source: Brecorder

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