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GLOBAL MARKETS-Catalonia uncertainty hits bond yields, U.S. stocks outpace Europe
October 10, 2017 / 3:49 PM / 11 days ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Catalonia uncertainty hits bond yields, U.S. stocks outpace Europe

* Catalonia keeps Europe’s stocks down, Spain drops 1 pct

* Wall Street rises to record highs, helped by Wal-Mart

* Dollar falls for third day running, Mexico’s peso falls

* Crude oil futures rise as Saudi trims exports (Updates with U.S. trading, adds commentary, changes byline, previous dateline LONDON)

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Stocks around the world rose on Tuesday, helped by record highs on Wall street although Europe traded cautiously and U.S. Treasury yields fell as investors braced for a possible move by Catalonia to unilaterally declare independence from Spain.

While oil futures traded higher the dollar lost ground as the euro climbed to its highest point in a week after Germany’s trade data beat forecasts and on expectations the European Central Bank may consider scaling back asset purchases.

Madrid’s IBEX stocks index was 1 percent lower due to Spain’s biggest political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of European stocks was down 0.2 percent.

Catalonia’s secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont was due to address the region’s parliament in Barcelona later on Tuesday and could ask the assembly to vote on a unilateral declaration of independence from Madrid.

If Catalonia splits from Spain “that is going to create economic disruption, and that’s bad for the Spanish economy and the euro zone as a whole,” said Mary Ann Hurley, vice president in fixed income trading at D.A. Davidson in Seattle.

The three major Wall Street indexes scaled new records, helped by gains in energy stocks and in Wal-Mart on the back of the company’s $20 billion share buyback plan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 31.44 points, or 0.14 percent, to 22,792.51, the S&P 500 gained 2.95 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,547.69 and the Nasdaq added 1.20 points, or 0.02 percent, to 6,580.93

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.41 percent, also hitting a record high.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, fell for the third day in a row.

The dollar index fell 0.46 percent, with the euro up 0.55 percent to $1.1803.

On top of strong German export data, traders were also upbeat after one of the European Central Bank’s German policymakers called for an end to its stimulus.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 9 in price to yield 2.3356, from 2.368 percent late on Monday.

The 30-year bond last rose 24 in price to yield 2.8673 percent, from 2.906 percent late on Monday.

In commodities, Brent oil prices pushed above $56 a barrel after top producer Saudi Arabia signalled it would trim its exports and as OPEC flagged ongoing efforts to try to restore the longer-term “balance” of the market.

U.S. crude rose 2.46 percent to $50.80 per barrel and Brent was last at $56.69, up 1.61 percent on the day.

Gold prices also hit their highest in more than a week against the backdrop of a weaker dollar although expectations for another U.S. interest rate hike capped gains. Spot gold added 0.6 to $1,291.12 an ounce.

Additional reporting by Marc Jones and Helen Reid in London, Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo,; Editing by Ed Osmond and Andrea Ricci

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