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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks gain on ECB stimulus hopes, U.S. data
August 26, 2014 / 3:30 PM / in 3 years

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks gain on ECB stimulus hopes, U.S. data

* ECB policy expectations drive stock gains

* Strong U.S. consumer data underpins U.S. shares

* European bond yields fall further

* Dollar edges lower versus euro (Adds U.S. market open; changes dateline; previous LONDON)

By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - World stock indices rose on Tuesday and European bond yields fell on expectations of more stimulus from the European Central Bank and on strong U.S. data.

The benchmark S&P 500 hit a fresh record above 2,000 after first breaching that milestone on Monday.

Speculation grew that the European Central Bank is preparing a program of large-scale asset purchases to weaken the euro and try to jump-start growth in the struggling euro zone.

Those expectations have bolstered European bond and stock markets since Friday, when ECB President Mario Draghi hinted at a policy shift in a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“Draghi’s readiness to do more is providing the necessary boost for equity indexes,” said Ashraf Laidi, chief global strategist at City Index. “Buying on the dips does remain the path of least resistance in the absence of any destabilizing factor.”

MSCI’s all-country world index rose 0.3 percent.

In Europe, the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index added 0.68 percent. The 10-year German bund yield was last at 0.946 percent, down from 0.955 percent late Monday.

Strong U.S. data on durable goods orders and consumer confidence underpinned gains in U.S. stocks. Data showed U.S. consumer confidence rose more than expected in August, climbing to its highest since October 2007.

U.S. durable goods orders jumped 22.6 percent in July, the biggest gain on record, though the number was skewed by strong international demand for aircraft. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.8 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 67.94 points, or 0.40 percent, at 17,144.81. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 6.46 points, or 0.32 percent, at 2,004.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 13.33 points, or 0.29 percent, at 4,570.67.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped 1/32 in price to yield 2.39 percent.

“It’s tough for Treasuries to sell off here given what’s going on in Europe,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rate strategist at TD Securities in New York.

The euro edged higher against the dollar after traders took profits on the greenback’s recent gains. The euro was last up 0.12 percent, at $1.3207.

Brent crude was last up 20 cents at $102.85 a barrel. U.S. crude was last up 59 cents at $93.94. (Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson in London and Karen Brettell in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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