* Dow, S&P, Nasdaq reach record intraday highs
* Euro zone PMIs at nearly 6 years offset HSBC profit woes
* Dollar climbs on revived bets on U.S. rate hike in March
* Oil futures jump on OPEC stance on output cuts
(Updates to afternoon U.S. trading)
By Richard Leong and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
NEW YORK, Feb 21 Stock prices across the world
climbed to record highs on Tuesday on news euro zone business
activity accelerated to a six-year high, while the dollar gained
after hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials.
The revived possibility of a U.S. rate hike next month,
together with demand for risky assets, weakened gold prices. It
also propelled bond yields higher before they retreated on
safe-haven demand as polls showed anti-EU and anti-immigrant
Marine Le Pen holding her lead in the first round of the French
Oil futures rose after OPEC said it was sticking to its deal
to reduce output.
The rally in equity markets around the globe, led by Wall
Street, has been stoked by hopes of tax cuts, infrastructure
spending and looser regulations from U.S. President Donald Trump
and a Republican-controlled Congress.
Details on U.S. fiscal stimuli remained sketchy, but
investors seemed patient for progress on these possible programs
as they have been assuaged by upbeat company results.
"There was a period last week, I think, where people were
getting a little worried about whether the administration was
getting sidetracked," said Rick Meckler, president of
LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
"A couple days later, those worries seem to have temporarily
subsided," Meckler said.
MSCI's world stock index which tracks shares
in 45 nations, rose 0.4 percent to 446.20, an all-time peak.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose
122.12 points, or 0.59 percent, to 20,746.17, the S&P 500
gained 14.71 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,365.87 and the Nasdaq
Composite added 24.70 points, or 0.42 percent, to
The three U.S. stock indexes hit record intraday highs, led
by stronger-than-forecast results from retailers Wal-Mart
, Macy's and Home Depot.
Europe's benchmark index of 300 leading shares
touched its highest since Dec. 2015, ended up 0.6 percent at
1,471.87 points. Purchasing manager index (PMI)
reports showed the euro zone economy expanding much faster and
more smoothly than expected.
Earlier, stocks had traded lower after Europe's biggest bank
HSBC's surprise 62 percent drop in annual profits.
Stronger appetite for equities and chances of another U.S.
rate increase in the coming months lifted the dollar index
by 0.4 percent at 101.37.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Tuesday he
would likely support a quarter point rate increase at the
central bank's March 14-15 meeting if the economy improves
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said late on Monday
she would be comfortable raising rates if the economy maintained
its current performance.
Interest rates futures implied traders saw a 22-percent
chance the Fed will raise rates next month, up from 18
percent on Friday, CME Group's FedWatch program showed.
U.S. financial markets were closed on Monday for Presidents
U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was fractionally
higher at 2.427 percent, while German 10-year Bund yield
edged up 0.6 basis point at 0.305 percent.
In the oil market, Brent crude finished 48 cents or
0.85 percent higher at $56.66 a barrel. U.S. crude
settled up 66 cents or 1.24 percent at $54.06.
Spot gold prices slipped 0.13 percent, to $1,236.60
(Additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Lewis Krauskopf
in New York and Jamie McGeever in London; Editing by Gareth
Jones and Nick Zieminski)