* Emerging market stock index turns positive for 2014
* Dollar reaches 10-week peak vs yen, nears 104
* ECB under pressure to ease, but traders doubt Thursday
* Copper pares most gains after jump following Chile quake
(Updates to U.S. market close)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, April 2 A global stock index edged up
to a six-year high on Wednesday and Wall Street closed at a
record high as U.S. data suggested the economy is improving,
while the price of spot gold jumped 1 percent.
The safe-haven yen touched a 10-week low against the U.S.
dollar, and Brent crude futures hit a five-month low as
expectations that rebel-held Libyan oil ports will reopen within
New orders for U.S. factory goods rebounded more than
expected in February, with shipments posting their biggest gain
in seven months in a sign the economy was regaining momentum.
Separate private-sector data showed U.S. companies picked up the
pace of hiring in March, with 191,000 jobs created.
The data was enough to lift the S&P 500 to a record close
for a second straight day.
"Equities are still an under-owned asset class," said Phil
Camporeale, client portfolio manager at J.P. Morgan Asset
Management in New York.
"We still think there's a long way to go in terms of flows
and we do have a better fundamental story this year," he said,
pointing at car sales and still historically low mortgage rates
as reasons to bet on U.S. economic growth.
The private-sector jobs data is generally looked at for
signs on the government's more comprehensive monthly labor
market report. The U.S. Labor Department's report for March is
due out on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.39 points,
or 0.24 percent, to 16,573; the S&P 500 gained 5.38
points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,890.9, a record closing high. The
Nasdaq Composite added 8.416 points, or 0.2 percent, to
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up
0.2 percent, extending its winning streak to a seventh straight
Expectations that the European Central Bank may introduce
new stimulus measures soon also supported equities, although
some traders said they did not expect any new action from the
ECB at its policy meeting on Thursday.
"European equities are set to give good returns this year.
Flows have turned positive, GDP should grow by at least 1
percent and corporate profits by around 10 percent," said Philip
Dicken, head of European equities at Threadneedle Investments.
MSCI's global equity index ticked up 0.2
percent to hit its highest level since December 2007. An index
of emerging market stocks rose for a ninth straight
session and turned positive for the year after falling in
February as much as 9 percent from its 2013 close.
COPPER VOLATILE AFTER QUAKE
Among commodities, Brent crude fell 0.8 percent to
$104.75 a barrel after declining more than 2 percent on Tuesday.
U.S. crude eased 0.4 percent to $99.38 a barrel after
also falling around 2 percent on Tuesday on expectations
domestic inventories would grow.
"Oil prices are going to come down but not because of the
global economy but because we're finding more ways of getting it
out of the ground," said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market
strategist at ING U.S. Investment Management in New York.
Copper prices hit a three-week high at $6,734 a
tonne after a powerful earthquake off the coast of Chile, the
world's biggest copper producer, triggered a tsunami alert and
raised concerns about supply.
Copper cut gains, however, as most mines are designed to
withstand tremors, and was trading up 0.2 percent at $6,675,
below a high hit Monday.
Spot gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,289.51 an ounce a
day after hitting its lowest since Feb. 11 at $1,277.29.
U.S. Treasuries yields edged higher after the job market
data supported expectations of a strong nonfarm payrolls report
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note eased
13/32 in price to yield 2.8045 percent, compared to a yield of
2.76 percent late Tuesday. The 30-year Treasury bond
price fell 26/32 to yield 3.6481 percent.
The euro dipped against the dollar ahead of Thursday's ECB
meeting. Euro zone inflation slid to just 0.5 percent this
month, leading some to speculate the ECB will soon loosen
Messages from policymakers have been mixed, though. On
Tuesday, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio told a news
conference that low inflation was a concern but denied deflation
was a threat. That was taken to mean a move by the bank on
Thursday was unlikely.
A Reuters poll of 22 euro money-market traders found 18
expected no change in the ECB's 0.25 percent refinancing rate
The euro zone single currency was recently down 0.2
percent at $1.3764.
Against the yen, the greenback came close to 104 to
hit its highest since Jan. 24. The dollar recently gained 0.2
percent at 103.81 yen.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Sam
Forgione; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Leslie Adler)