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GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks hit record highs, dollar rises on rate-hike view
February 21, 2017 / 4:00 PM / 9 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks hit record highs, dollar rises on rate-hike view

* 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 (Update market action, change dateline, previous LONDON)

By Richard Leong

NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Stock prices across the world climbed to record highs on Tuesday on news euro zone business activity accelerated to its swiftest pace in six years, while the dollar gained on the view the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates in March.

The revived possibility of a U.S. rate hike next month, together with demand for risky assets, propelled bond yields higher but weakened gold prices.

Oil futures rose more than 1 percent 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.

“It does seem like a rally feeding on itself. People are reluctant to sell into this rally,” said John Canavan, market strategist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates in Princeton, New Jersey.

MSCI’s world stock index which tracks shares in 45 nations, rose 1.32 points or 0.3 percent, to 445.78 after touching an all-time peak at 445.82.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 113.02 points, or 0.55 percent, to 20,737.07, the S&P 500 gained 13.55 points, or 0.58 percent, to 2,364.71 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.06 points, or 0.43 percent, to 5,863.64.

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, last up 0.7 percent at 1,473.28 points. Purchasing manager index (PMI) reports showed the euro zone economy expanding much faster and more smoothly than expected.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index reversed an earlier fall, precipitated by 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 pushed up the dollar index by 0.5 percent at 101.46.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker told Market News International on Monday he would likely support a quarter point rate increase at the central bank’s March 14-15 meeting.

U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was up 1 basis point at 2.433 percent, while German 10-year Bund yield was up nearly 2 basis points at 0.317 percent.

In the oil market, Brent crude was last up $0.52, or up 0.93 percent, at $56.7 a barrel. U.S. crude was last up $0.73, or up 1.37 percent, at $54.13 per barrel.

Spot gold prices fell $3.94 or 0.32 percent, to $1,234.06 an ounce.

Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever in London; Editing by Gareth Jones and Nick Zieminski

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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