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GLOBAL MARKETS-Buoyant data bolsters euro rally, Wall Street creeps higher
May 23, 2017 / 3:42 PM / 7 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Buoyant data bolsters euro rally, Wall Street creeps higher

* European stocks climb after upbeat data

* Wall Street rises as Trump federal budget plan released

* Euro dips; sterling subdued after Manchester attack

* Oil dips below $54 on Trump budget proposals (Adds Wall Street open; changes dateline to New York; updates throughout)

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - Shares climbed across the euro zone on Tuesday after data showed robust growth, and Wall Street ticked higher as a U.S. federal budget proposal called for slashing healthcare programs and boosting military spending.

Businesses across the euro zone were on their strongest run since 2011, according to IHS Markit’s Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for May. It matched the previous month’s 56.8, its highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

“It’s a very good result and it’s broad-based. We’ve got a good pace of growth here. The fact we have maintained this high level in May is great news for second-quarter GDP,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.29 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.14 percent.

The euro had hit a six-month high but retreated as traders locked in some of this month’s 3.5 percent surge, while a suicide bombing in Britain subdued the pound after more signs of a drop in the UK economy dented it.

The bombing of a pop concert in Manchester killed 22 people and wounded dozens. Sterling had fallen but rose 0.8 percent in mid-day trading to $1.3010.

”Increasingly the markets are just more and more numb to these. As bad as they are and as horrific as they are, the market immediately looks through these things and uses these as buying opportunities more than anything else,” said Brad Bechtel, managing director FX at Jefferies in New York.

In the United States, investors looked to President Donald Trump’s first full budget plan, released on Tuesday.

It calls for an increase in military and infrastructure spending but also a raft of politically sensitive cuts, including to healthcare and food assistance programs for the poor, with the aim of chopping government spending by $3.6 trillion and balancing the budget over the next decade.

“In the U.S. all eyes are on Trump’s budget proposal,” said Nadia Lovell, U.S. equity strategist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New York. “People will keep an eye on any sort of indication of corporate tax reform as well as infrastructure spending.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.26 points, or 0.18 percent, to 20,932.09, the S&P 500 gained 3.21 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,397.23 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.83 points, or 0.03 percent, to 6,131.79.

Trump’s budget in its current form is unlikely to be approved by Congress, which will craft its own tax and spending plans.

However, the plan’s proposal to sell off half of strategic U.S. oil reserves weighed on crude futures, offsetting optimism over expectations that other major oil producers would agree to extend supply curbs this week.

Oil prices bounced around on Tuesday. U.S. crude rose 0.1 percent to $51.18 per barrel and Brent was last at $53.94, up 0.13 percent on the day at 1500 GMT.

In Greece, short-dated government bond yields rose sharply and banking stocks fell after euro zone finance ministers failed to agree debt relief for Greece with the International Monetary Fund and did not release new loans to Athens.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.07 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.25 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.33 percent.

The dollar index against a basket of currencies rose 0.01 percent. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.19 percent versus the greenback at 111.12 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.2977, down 0.16 percent on the day.

For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=

Additional reporting by Marc Jones, Jonathan Cable and Abhinav Ramnarayan in London, George Georgiopoulos in Athens, Roberta Rampton in Washington and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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