GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks post best week since November

Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:44pm EDT

* MSCI stock index up 3.4 pct for week, best week since
November
    * Dollar bounces, but posts loss for week
    * S&P 500, Dow hit closing highs for 2nd day


    By Caroline Valetkevitch
    NEW YORK, July 12 (Reuters) - Stocks on major bourses posted
their best weekly gains since November on Friday, helped by
corporate earnings reports and remarks by Federal Reserve
officials calming investor fears about U.S. monetary policy. 
    On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 hit all-time closing
highs for a second day, and the S&P 500 rose for a seventh
straight day, matching a winning streak from March. The index
climbed 3 percent for the week, its best weekly percentage gain
since early January.
    Stocks, bond prices and commodities have rallied this week
while the dollar tumbled on hints from Federal Reserve chief Ben
Bernanke that the U.S. central bank was unlikely to phase out
its stimulative bond buying before the U.S. unemployment rate
improved further. 
    "The momentum has been incredibly strong ... At some point,
a breather or some sort of consolidation makes sense," said Joe
Bell, senior equity strategist at Schaeffer's Investment
Research in Cincinnati.
    The MSCI world index was up 0.1 percent for
the day and 3.4 percent for the week, its best weekly percentage
gain since November, while the broad FTSEurofirst 300 
ended down 0.1 percent.
    The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 3.38
points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,464.30. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 5.17 points, or 0.31 percent, at 1,680.19.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 21.78 points, or 0.61
percent, at 3,600.08.
    Stronger-than-expected results from top U.S. banks JPMorgan
Chase and Wells Fargo helped boost the market,
while shares of United Parcel Service Inc. dragged on
the S&P 500 after a disappointing outlook. UPS, the world's
biggest package delivery company, and smaller rival FedEX
 are considered economic bellwethers because of the high
volume of goods they move around the world.
    Boeing shares, also a drag, fell 4.7 percent to
$101.87 after a Dreamliner operated by Ethiopian Airlines caught
fire at Britain's Heathrow airport on Friday.
    Investors were nervous about holding onto positions ahead of
the release of Chinese second-quarter economic growth data, due
before European markets open on Monday, which will be
particularly important to the mining sector.
    After a week of swings in the world's big currencies,
foreign exchange markets traded more calmly.
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback's
performance against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.2
percent. It was down 1.8 percent for the week, its worst decline
since early June.
    "There is some argument for suggesting that the shock effect
of a dovish Bernanke has largely been digested," said Alan
Ruskin, global head of foreign exchange strategy at Deutsche
Bank in New York.
    "Even if he tries to avoid changing his tone, any policy
surprises are more likely to be in a positive dollar direction
than the reverse," he said.
    U.S. Treasuries prices slipped on profit-taking and
pre-weekend position-squaring. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes
 were unchanged in late trade, yielding 2.59 percent.
Earlier, they were up as much as 15/32, with a yield of 2.518
percent.
    
    GOLD EASES, OIL CLIMBS
    Gold eased for the day but notched its biggest weekly
advance in nearly two years.
    Analysts said, however, that recent gains in U.S. equities
amid some positive signs for the economy and no indications of
abatement in outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded funds
could pressure the metal.
    "The fact that the leading U.S. equity indices closed at
record highs yesterday - which could prompt investors to switch
once again from gold ETFs to equities - is problematic for
gold," said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at
Commerzbank.
    Many commodity markets have had a strong run this week as
talk of continued central bank support has bolstered hopes of a
pickup in global growth.
    Oil prices ended with sharp gains for the day, led by the
biggest surge in gasoline futures this year as a string of
refinery outages stoked concerns about fuel supplies.
    Brent climbed $1.08 to settle at $108.81 while U.S. crude
oil rose $1.04 to settle at $105.95 a barrel.
    
    PORTUGAL TENSIONS
    Portuguese government bonds fell again after
Lisbon requested a delay in the next review of a bailout program
due to the country's political crisis.  
    Tensions were reignited this week after Portugal's president
threw out plans that seemed to have patched up a government rift
and instead demanded some kind of grand coalition, which would
include opposition Socialists, who have been calling for snap
elections.
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.