GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall St leads global shares higher; oil falls
* Brent, U.S. crude futures prices tumble * S&P 500 hits record high * ISM manufacturing data offers reassurance on U.S. economy * Emerging market share index at highest level since Jan 2 (Updates prices, changes comments, adds details) By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - World equity markets added to recent gains on Tuesday as Wall Street hit a record high after strong factory data, while soft manufacturing numbers in China reinforced expectations that the country will undertake stimulus measures. Crude oil futures tumbled, with U.S. crude pressured by expectations for a build in domestic inventories and Brent by lackluster data in China and Europe. Spot gold hit a seven-week low and prices of other safe-havens like U.S. Treasuries and the yen also fell. Two surveys on Tuesday showed that manufacturing in China struggled in March, bolstering talk that Beijing will bring in selective stimulus. In the United States, however, manufacturing growth accelerated for a second straight month in March as production recovered, relieving fears that the economy had hit a stumbling block. "We're starting the second quarter with signs that the economy is maintaining the kind of reasonable growth that will continue to support the (equity) market," said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based Northern Trust Global Investments. The S&P 500 hit a record intraday high shortly after the manufacturing data, boosting the MSCI's world stocks gauge , which was up 0.4 percent in afternoon trading. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.79 points or 0.24 percent, to 16,497.45, the S&P 500 gained 6 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,878.34, and the Nasdaq Composite added 41.131 points, or 0.98 percent, to 4,240.125. The S&P earlier hit an intraday record high at 1,884.60. European stocks rose, lifted by merger activity as well as robust French factory data. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed up 0.56 percent at a three-week high. An index of emerging market shares topped the 1,000 level for the first time since Jan. 2 and was up for an eighth straight day, supported by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comments a day earlier on the need for "extraordinary" commitment to support the U.S. economy. Anxiety over the possibility of rising U.S. interest rates has kept emerging market assets and currencies under pressure for months. Yields in longer-dated U.S. Treasuries rose on the upbeat U.S. manufacturing data, while intermediate-dated Treasuries yields held steady in the wake of Yellen's comments. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was last down 7/32 in price to yield 2.748 percent, compared to a yield of 2.724 percent late Monday. EURO UP, GOLD SLIPS The expectation of Fed support kept the U.S. currency under pressure from the euro, but the dollar hit a session high against the yen after the U.S. manufacturing data. Traders were also awaiting Friday's U.S. payrolls data. The euro's gains versus the greenback remained capped by talk the European Central Bank, which meets on Thursday, may have to cut interest rates again in coming months to keep deflation at bay. The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.3799. The yen, another traditional safe haven, slipped to a three-week low against the dollar. It was last down 0.4 percent at 103.57 per dollar. Among commodities, Brent crude fell 1.5 percent to $106.15 a barrel after the Chinese data and on the possibility of a jump in supplies from Libya after rebels blocking eastern oil ports hinted at a deal with Tripoli. U.S. crude was down 1.6 percent to $100 a barrel, pressured by expectations for a build in domestic inventories. "With the disappointing economic numbers out of China and the inventory build, we're driving lower until Friday when we get the next (U.S.) employment numbers," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. Spot gold, one of this year's surprise star performers after a 2013 slump, hit a seven-week low of $1,278.34 per ounce. It was recently down 0.3 percent at $1,280. The price is still up more than 6 percent year-to-date. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Sam Forgione, Elizabeth Dilts and Michael Connor; Editing by Leslie Adler)
- U.S. diplomat travels to West Africa as Ebola quarantine moves take hold |
- Iraqi security forces and Kurds gain ground against Islamic State
- U.S. nurse quarantined over Ebola criticizes her treatment |
- Washington state teen shooter's family living in 'nightmare'
- Suspect in two California deputy deaths charged with murder, carjacking