June 26, 2013 / 5:15 PM / 4 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, dollar gain after GDP data eases Fed fears

* European shares, bonds rebound for second day
    * U.S. 1st-quarter final growth estimate cut to 1.8 pct
    * Dovish comments from ECB's Draghi weigh on euro
    * Oil prices slide, bond prices gain
    * Gold hits an almost 3-year low


    By Herbert Lash
    NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - The dollar rose and global
equity markets gained for a second day on Wednesday after a
surprisingly sharp downward revision to first-quarter U.S.
economic growth eased concerns that the Federal Reserve may soon
begin to withdraw stimulus.
    In addition, moves by China to calm bank fears and
supportive signs from the European Central Bank on the need for
continued stimulus helped extend Tuesday's rebound after the
global sell-off last week of stocks, commodities and bonds.
    U.S. gross domestic product grew at only a 1.8 percent
annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said
in its final estimate, down from the prior estimate of a 2.4
percent pace. 
    "Despite all the rhetoric and fear about tapering, this will
keep the Fed firmly planted in stimulus, which is a positive for
the market," said Michael Mullaney, chief investment officer at
Fiduciary Trust Co in Boston, which oversees about $9.5 billion.
    "This is another example of bad news being good news," he
said.
    The S&P 500 was on track for its biggest two-day gain in
three weeks, while European stocks gained close to 2 percent to
post their biggest two-day gain since April after the ECB's
president, Mario Draghi, said an accommodative monetary policy
was still appropriate. The bank's policy, he said, "will stay
accommodative for the foreseeable future." 
    MSCI's all-country world equity index rose
0.88 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
 of leading regional companies gained 1.71 percent to
close at 1,149.71 points. The EuroSTOXX 50 index 
rose 2.34 percent.
     The Dow Jones industrial average was up 111.46
points, or 0.76 percent, at 14,871.77. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 12.06 points, or 0.76 percent, at 1,600.09.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 25.78 points, or 0.77
percent, at 3,373.67. 
    The S&P 500's advance followed a gain of nearly 1 percent on
Tuesday, spurred after U.S. data on durable goods orders, sales
of new homes and consumer confidence all topped expectations.
    A pledge by China's central bank, the People's Bank of
China, to act as a lender of last resort was the story of the
day on Wednesday, said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at
The Davidson Cos. in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
    "The global fears regarding the possibility of a Chinese
credit situation spilling over and becoming very serious has
eased off some," he said. The People's Bank "is going to come in
and make sure the Chinese banking system doesn't collapse." 
    Gold hit its lowest level in almost three years and was on
course for a record quarterly loss. Prices could slide to levels
below $1,000 per ounce, investors and analysts said.
 
    Spot gold prices fell $45.05 to $1,231.60 an ounce.
    Bond markets in Europe and benchmark U.S. Treasuries
continued to claw back ground, although investors remained
worried that the rebound could give way with markets likely to
need more time to acclimatize to the new environment.
    U.S. Treasuries gained after a recent slump took yields to
near two-year highs, with the weaker-than-expected GDP pointing
to continued potential for fragility in the world's biggest
economy.
    The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up
15/32 in price to yield 2.554 percent.
    Euro zone bonds rose across the board on the ECB's pledge to
keep exceptional monetary policy measures for the foreseeable
future.
    German Bund futures came off 8-month lows on Monday
of 139.90 to settle up 49 ticks at 141.03.
    If economic data is weak, "the punch bowl stays where it is.
Good news, economically, the punch bowl gets moved a little bit
further away," said Wilmer Stith, co-manager of the Wilmington
Broad Market Bond Fund in Baltimore. 
    Oil prices traded near break-even after data showed an
unexpected rise in U.S. crude stocks, which combined with the
GDP report, stoked concerns about the outlook for demand in the
world's top consumer.
    Brent crude for August delivery rose 14 cents at
$101.40 a barrel. U.S. crude traded flat at $95.32 a
barrel.
    The euro was down 0.61 percent at $1.3004, stung by
Draghi's comments on an accommodative monetary policy and the
risks to growth in the euro zone. 
    "Juxtaposed against shifting Fed policy, (Draghi's comment)
highlights that relative central bank policy will soon shift
from supporting to weighing on the euro," Camilla Sutton, chief
FX strategist at Scotiabank, said.
    The dollar rose to a three-week high of 83.003 against a
basket of currencies, buoyed mainly by solid gains
against the euro. It later traded at 82.923.

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