* World stock indexes gain on rosy results
* Asia shares hit 18-month highs
* Dollar lifted as US Treasury yields rise
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
(Updates dateline and byline; adds Wall Street open; updates
By Hilary Russ
NEW YORK, Feb 9 Key world stock indexes climbed
on Thursday, while yields fell on some of the euro zone's
battered low-rated bonds as investors took inspiration from
corporate earnings and put aside for now the political risks
that have dominated markets this week.
Investors had in recent weeks been pondering the potential
impact of the protectionist policies of U.S. President Donald
Trump, an unpredictable European electoral future and a
potential winding-down of central bank stimulus that has lifted
risky assets across the globe.
On Wall Street, stocks edged higher, led by energy
companies, and the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes hit
record highs with a fourth-quarter earnings season that has been
Rising oil prices and banking stocks pushed shares higher in
Europe on a busy day of corporate earnings, while Asian stocks
hit their highest in more than 18 months.
"The stabilization of the oil price after its recent
wobbles, together with solid earnings, for example, Soc Gen
today, is driving the positive sentiment," said Andy Sullivan,
portfolio manager with GL Asset Management UK in London.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.57 percent.
French lender Societe Generale reported lower
fourth-quarter net income that nonetheless beat analysts'
forecasts and its shares added 3 percent.
Oil prices rose after an unexpected draw in U.S. gasoline
inventories pointed to higher demand in the world's biggest oil
Benchmark Brent crude was up 58 cents a barrel, or
1.05 percent, at $55.70. U.S. light crude was 76 cents,
or 1.45 percent, higher at $53.10 a barrel.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 90.43 points,
or 0.45 percent, to 20,144.77, the S&P 500 gained 10.62
points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,305.29 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 24.24 points, or 0.43 percent, to 5,706.69.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
gained 0.25 percent to their highest since July
2015, with Hong Kong, Taiwan and China
among the region's best-performing markets.
Japanese shares fell 0.5 percent, a day before Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe meets U.S. President Donald Trump.
In Europe, concern over the impact of elections in France
and Germany this year saw investors sell bonds of lower-rated
euro zone countries earlier this week. However, yields, which
move inversely to prices, started falling late on Wednesday and
fell further on Thursday.
French 10-year government bond yields fell
below 1 percent for the first time in two weeks and yields on
Spanish and Italian debt fell even more sharply.
The final round of France's presidential election in three
months is expected to include far-right, anti-euro candidate
Marine Le Pen.
Yields on German 10-year bonds, seen as among
the world's safest assets, edged down 0.6 bps to 0.30 percent.
The dollar had dipped on Wednesday as U.S. Treasury yields
fell to their lowest since mid-January amid concern over how
many interest rate rises the Federal Reserve will deliver this
year, and whether Trump will make good on his campaign pledges
for tax cuts and infrastructure spending.
But both the dollar and 10-year Treasury yields
reversed on Thursday as Trump said he would make a tax
announcement in a few weeks.
The greenback was up 0.25 percent against a basket of major
(Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson and Christopher
Johnson in London; Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Saikat
Chatterjee in Hong Kong; Editing by Bernadette Baum)