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* S&P 500 hits record high
* ISM manufacturing data offers reassurance on economy
* Emerging market share index at highest level since Jan 2
* Safe-havens gold and yen retreat
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, April 1 World equity markets added to
recent gains on Tuesday as Wall Street hit a record high after
strong factory data, while manufacturing numbers in China
reinforced expectations that the country will undertake stimulus
Spot gold hit a seven-week low and other safe-havens like
the yen weakened. Two surveys on Tuesday showed that
manufacturing in China struggled in March, bolstering talk that
Beijing will bring in selective stimulus.
U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated for a second straight
month in March as production recovered, relieving fears that the
economy had hit a stumbling block.
"Again it shows we are coming out of this winter chill,"
said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global
Capital in New York. "Economic growth is going to accelerate in
the coming months and confirm the slowdown we had in the first
quarter was related to weather factors."
The S&P 500 hit a record intraday high shortly after
the manufacturing data, boosting MSCI's world stocks gauge
up 0.5 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56.71 points or
0.34 percent, to 16,514.37, the S&P 500 gained 6.87
points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,879.21, and the Nasdaq Composite
added 45.975 points, or 1.09 percent, to 4,244.969.
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 was up 0.6 percent.
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
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. The yen was
also weakened by Japan's sales tax increase, to 8 percent from 5
percent, the first increase in 17 years.
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 0.3 percent at $1.3807.
The yen, another traditional safe haven, slipped to a
three-week low against the dollar. It was last down 0.3
percent at 103.50 per dollar.
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 $1.280.20. The
price is still up more than 6 percent year-to-date.
Among commodities, Brent crude fell nearly 1 percent
to below $107 after the weak 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 futures fell 1 percent to $100.57 a
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Chuck
Mikolajczak; Editing by Leslie Adler)