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Global stocks gain as oil rises; euro up vs Swiss franc
February 5, 2015 / 9:58 PM / 3 years ago

Global stocks gain as oil rises; euro up vs Swiss franc

Trader work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 5, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets around the world mostly rose on Thursday as crude oil rebounded, although caution remained following the European Central Bank’s surprise decision to strike Greek bonds off its list of accepted collateral.

Greek banking shares fell sharply on the day, which in turn limited the advance of broader European equities. In a sign the region remains unstable, Greece’s new leftist finance minister clashed openly with his powerful German counterpart. Greece’s short-term debt yields surged.

The ECB’s actions, which were announced on Wednesday, mean the Greek central bank will have to provide its banks with tens of billions of euros of additional emergency liquidity in the coming weeks.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ 10-day-old government has said it would not extend a bailout program, which is due to expire at the end of this month. It has also refused to cooperate with the so-called troika of international lenders.

“We’re paying quite a bit of attention to the Greece situation, where there’s so much political and financial unrest. Investors are really looking for peace of mind, and it is difficult to get that,” said Josh van Dress, chief investment officer of Able Capital Management in New York.

The euro rose 1.2 percent against the U.S. dollar, helped by the strongest rise in German industrial orders since early 2008. The common currency also hit its highest against the Swiss franc since Jan. 15, when the Swiss central bank stunned markets by scrapping the three-year-old cap on its currency. The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, fell 0.5 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst share index ended flat on the day, while the MSCI International ACWI Price Index rose 0.7 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 211.86 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,884.88, the S&P 500 gained 21.01 points, or 1.03 percent, to 2,062.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48.39 points, or 1.03 percent, to 4,765.10.

While energy stocks were the big gainers on Wall Street, equities were also supported by encouraging jobless claims data, which came a day before Friday’s non-farm payrolls figures, boosted sentiment, as well as Pfizer buying Hospira Inc for about $15 billion.

U.S. crude futures rose 4.8 percent to $50.75 per barrel on falling output and rising violence in Libya. Oil has risen in five of the past six sessions and, so far this year, there have been only four sessions with moves less than 1 percent. Despite the recent rise, oil remains down more than 50 percent from a high reached in June.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 3/32 in price, pushing the yield up to 1.8033 percent.

Gold prices fell 0.3 percent. Silver lost 0.6 percent. Copper rose 0.3 percent, advancing for a fifth straight session.

Editing by Leslie Adler and Andre Grenon

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