GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall St adds to global stocks rally; dollar up

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53pm EDT

* Wall St boosted by Home Depot results, housing data

* Dollar jumps as euro dips to 9-month low

* Oil at 14-month low (Adds Treasuries decline, updates prices)

By Michael Connor

NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street got a lift from the U.S. housing sector and extended a global stock markets rally on Tuesday as investors shifted focus from political crises to expectations monetary policy likely will remain accommodative.

The dollar climbed smartly as the euro sank to a nine-month low against the greenback. U.S. Treasuries yields edged up.

Bolstered by strong profits from home-improvement retailerHome Depot, as well as U.S. housing and economic data, Wall Street gained as equities worldwide neared multi-year highs after the past month's jitters over conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza. ID:nL5N0QP0AU]

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 74.31 points, or 0.44 percent, at 16,913.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 8.56 points, or 0.43 percent, at 1,980.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 15.26 points, or 0.34 percent, at 4,523.57.

Apple Inc hit $100 for the first time since its seven-for-one stock split in June, giving the iPhone maker a market capitalization over $600 billion.

The MSCI All Country Index was up 0.40 percent at 428.12.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended up 0.57 percent, led by gains in Germany, where the blue-chip DAX index was up just under 1 percent.

Traders were keeping a wary watch on economic data and central banker comments for indications of interest rate moves after years of rock-bottom benchmark borrowing rates.

"The situation in Ukraine is still very tense, but slowly investors are getting used to it and turning their focus back on the macro and micro data, and earnings have been quite good," said Arnaud Scarpaci, fund manager at Montaigne Capital.

The dollar rallied, benefiting from U.S. economic data and the euro zone's current account surplus in June. The euro dipped to a nine-month low of $1.3314. The U.S. dollar index rose 0.37 percent to a high last seen nearly a year ago.

U.S. housing starts rebounded strongly in July, pointing to economic momentum. Groundbreaking surged 15.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted 1.09 million annual unit pace, after two straight months of declines.

Separately, the Labor Department said its U.S. Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1 percent last month as declining energy costs partially offset increases in food and rents. The CPI had increased 0.3 percent in June.

The benign inflation data gave Treasuries prices a boost that then petered out and left prices off or unchanged in early-afternoon New York trade. The bellwether 10-year note was off 3/32 in price and yielding 2.398 percent.

German 10-year bund yields hovered near 1.0 percent, just above record lows hit at the end of last week, while yields on lower-rated bonds dipped.

U.S. crude oil and Brent crude futures were down after giving up early gains as recovering Libyan output, sustained Iraqi production and weak demand offset concerns about threats to supply. Brent was at 14-month lows at $101.35, off 25 cents. U.S. crude was last at $95.89, down 52 cents.

Investors were looking ahead to Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve releases minutes from the July 29-30 Fed policymaking meeting, as well as Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech at a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday.

"In the minutes, people will be looking for an exit strategy, but given data we have had, no one is expecting it to come sooner than previously expected. Fed futures are looking to September 2015 and expectations in the market come around that time frame, which is late 2015," said Thomas Simons, money market economist at Jefferies LLC in New York. (Reporting by Michael Connor; additional reporting by Daniel Bases, Sam Forgione and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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