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GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar rises to 14-year peak as Wall Street hits record highs
December 20, 2016 / 4:11 PM / a year ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar rises to 14-year peak as Wall Street hits record highs

* Dollar climbs after Yellen’s upbeat U.S. labor market comments

* European shares steady after attacks in Germany, Turkey

* Yen slides as BOJ says to maintain loose policy

* Dow, Nasdaq hit record highs (Updates to U.S. market open, changes dateline, previous LONDON)

By Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a 14-year high on Tuesday as the yen slid after the Bank of Japan stuck to its ultra-loose monetary policy, while U.S. stock indexes touched record highs as the rally in riskier assets since the U.S. election looked set to continue.

On Wall Street, the Dow neared the 20,000 level as reassurance over Italy’s plan to spend up to 20 billion euros ($21 billion) to rescue its troubled banks offset risk aversion following attacks in Turkey and Germany a day earlier.

“Investors have become so fast in digesting bad news, and this explains the resilience in financial markets,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

U.S. stocks have rallied since the Nov. 8 election, with the S&P 500 rising nearly 6 percent on bets that President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending will give a boost to business.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 85.04 points, or 0.43 percent, to 19,968.1, the S&P 500 gained 6.81 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,269.34 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.93 points, or 0.37 percent, to 5,477.38.

Both the Dow and Nasdaq hit all-time intraday highs.

European shares steadied, with the pan-European FTSE Euro 300 adding 0.3 percent. Emerging market shares were flat while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended down 0.3 percent.

China’s CSI 300 index slid 0.6 percent on Beijing’s move to tighten supervision of shadow banking activities and on liquidity concerns, while Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.5 percent after a late BOJ-linked rally.

The dollar rose, tracking U.S. bond yields higher , as the strong appetite for risk assets pushed traders out of bonds and into stocks. Positive comments on Monday from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the state of the U.S. labor market also boosted the greenback.

“She didn’t use the opportunity to take the market back from being overly hawkish,” said UBS currency strategist Constantin Bolz, in Zurich. “Maybe there were some people who ... thought they would hold off from further dollar longs until she spoke, in case she were to row back.”

The dollar rose almost half a percent against a basket of major currencies to 103.65, the highest level since December 2002.

Its gains were strongest against the yen, which slid around 1 percent after the Bank of Japan, shrugging off the yen’s recent slump, said it would keep monetary policy loose.

Benchmark 10-year U.S government bond yields, which set the bar for global borrowing costs, rose to just above 2.58 percent.

The dollar rally and bond market selloff since the Nov. 8 U.S. election have been stoked by bets Trump’s administration would enact looser fiscal policy, which would spur higher U.S. growth and inflation.

“The dollar and bonds have been trading in lockstep,” said Ellis Phifer, senior market strategist at Raymond James in Memphis, Tennessee. “There are still concerns spending will increase and more debt supply will be on its way.”

The greenback has risen 12 percent versus the yen since Trump’s surprise victory. The win was made official on Monday after Trump surpassed the required 270 Electoral College votes.

Oil prices hit one-week highs on anticipation of a decline in U.S. crude stocks. Brent crude gained around 1.5 percent to $55.72 a barrel while WTI added 0.63 percent to $52.45 a barrel. (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Additional reporting by Richard Leong in New York, Nichola Saminather in Singapore, Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore, Marc Jones in London; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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