* S&P 500 index inches toward all-time intraday high
* Treasuries, gold retreat as safe-haven demand wanes
* ECB, BOJ meet later this week; U.S. jobs report also due
By Wanfeng Zhou
NEW YORK, April 2 Major stock markets rose on
Tuesday, with the U.S. S&P 500 index nearing its all-time
intraday high, while the euro slipped against the dollar after
data showed manufacturing across the euro zone fell deeper into
contraction territory last month.
Gains in stocks dampened demand for safe-haven instruments,
driving Treasury and gold prices lower, but lingering concern
about the broader impact of the Cyprus bailout and caution ahead
of key events this week limited moves.
The Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank both hold
policy meetings this week. On Friday, the U.S. government will
release the all-important payrolls report for March.
On Wall Street, stocks rebounded from the previous session,
as healthcare shares surged on prospects of a boost to earnings.
The group gained as planned cuts in U.S. government payments
for private Medicare Advantage insurers did not materialize.
"Given how lean these companies are, this news is pretty
significant and could mean a 10 to 15 percent increase in
earnings," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at
Federated Investors in New York.
The benchmark S&P 500 index last week set an all-time
closing high, but has thus far been unable to reach its intraday
record of 1,576.09, an important psychological level for
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 83.84 points,
or 0.58 percent, at 14,656.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 9.19 points, or 0.59 percent, at 1,571.36. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 24.45 points, or 0.75
percent, at 3,263.62.
European shares rallied after a two-week slide as M&A
activity helped lift sentiment. Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index
gained 1.1 percent to 1201.83 points.
The broad MSCI world equity index rose 0.4
percent to 360.03 points.
The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.2832 after Markit's
Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell in March to 46.8 from 47.9 in
February, extending to a 20th month its run below the 50 mark
that separates growth and contraction.
The data boosted expectations European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi would strike a more dovish tone at
Thursday's monetary policy outlook meeting and could provide
hints about a possible rate cut.
"We expect euro zone fundamentals to deteriorate further --
this combined with outflow pressures should keep the euro's
downward trend intact," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency
strategist, at Scotiabank in Toronto.
The dollar rose 0.2 percent to 93.38 yen. The BoJ
meets on April 3-4 and is widely expected to ramp up its bond
buying and to extend the maturities of the bonds it purchases
under new Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were down 7/32,
their yields rising to 1.86 percent from 1.84 percent on Monday.
In commodities trading, spot gold hit an intraday
high of $1,603.60 an ounce, before falling to $1,583 an ounce,
down from $1,598.40 on Monday.
Brent slipped 17 cents to $110.92 a barrel. U.S.
crude fell 51 cents to $96.56 a barrel.