GLOBAL MARKETS-New Wall Street high after bullish data; sterling tumbles
(Recasts with U.S. markets' open; changes dateline; previous LONDON) By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - U.S. equities hit another record high on Tuesday after encouraging data on consumer confidence and new home sales, while sterling fell after the head of the Bank of England stirred doubts about how soon interest rates would rise. The dollar and U.S. Treasuries prices gained, but flagging business morale in Germany pulled European stocks lower. In the latest signs of improving U.S. economic conditions, consumer confidence rose more than expected in June, as did May new home sales. The S&P 500 eked out another intraday record and was on track for its seventh straight rise in the past eight sessions. "We remain bullish and are advising our clients to remain overweight on equities, but the levels of valuations and investor sentiment are starting to give us pause in the short term," said Bill Greiner, chief investment officer of Mariner Wealth Advisors, in Leawood, Kansas. "We're not in nosebleed territory, but we are a bit stretched." The Dow Jones industrial average was up 23.31 points, or 0.14 percent, at 16,960.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 4.69 points, or 0.24 percent, at 1,967.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 30.62 points, or 0.70 percent, at 4,399.30. U.S. Treasury bonds rose, pushing the 10-year benchmark yield down almost two basis points to 2.60 percent. Germany's Ifo index of business sentiment eased more than expected in June to its lowest level this year. "You are seeing economic statistics in Europe that are disappointing," said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss bank Reyl. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading shares was off 0.06 percent, while the MSCI world stocks indicator was up 0.1 percent. Sterling fell below $1.70, down further from recent 5-year peaks after BoE Governor Mark Carney said there was little wage or inflationary pressure in the UK economy, and that spare capacity will need to be absorbed before rates rise. Sterling was last down 0.3 percent at $1.6968, having earlier fallen more than half a cent to as low as $1.6971. The euro was little changed at $1.3595. The dollar index was up 0.1 percent at 80.382, well within the narrow 80.000-81.000 range seen since May. In commodities trading, gold hit a more than 2-month high at $1,325.90 an ounce, up 5.5 percent for June. Silver hit a 3-month high at $21.22 an ounce. Brent crude was up 0.5 percent at $114.65 a barrel, supported by the fighting in Iraq, supply disruption in Libya and expectations of a decline in U.S. crude inventories. U.S. crude was up 0.2 percent at $106.33. (Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever in London; Editing by Ruth Pitchford and Dan Grebler; To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click here; for the MacroScope Blog click on blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click on blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub)
- UK's Cameron shifts tack on constitutional shake-up to mollify Scots
- U.S. immigration protesters drop U.S. border blockade plan
- Exclusive: Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession
- Islamic State closes in on Syrian town, refugees flood into Turkey |
- Selling Mitch McConnell: What's love got to do with it?