April 9, 2014 / 5:50 PM / 4 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Earnings outlook lifts equities; dollar up on economy view

* Dollar bounces for first day in four
    * Alcoa's results boost sentiment, shares rise 3.5 percent
    * Automaker shares lead rise in European equities
    * Brent oil rises toward $108 a barrel on Ukraine worries

 (Adds close of European bond, equity markets)
    By Herbert Lash
    NEW YORK, April 9 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on
Wednesday after better-than-expected corporate results boosted
sentiment on the outlook for first-quarter earnings, while the
dollar gained on optimism the U.S. economy will show growth as
it sloughs off the effects of a bitter winter.
    The greenback's bounce was the first in four days.
    Investors awaited the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve
meeting to be released later Wednesday. They are likely to show
that members of the Federal Open Market Committee generally
agreed on tapering the Fed's bond-buying program.
    U.S. stocks rose for a second session, buoyed after Alcoa
 late Tuesday reported quarterly results that topped
analysts' expectations, even though the company's adjusted
profit fell due to declining aluminum prices. 
    Shares of Alcoa gained 3.5 percent to $12.97 and at
one point were the best performer among components of the
benchmark S&P 500 index. 
    Alcoa has long been the first S&P 500 company to report
results each quarter, and since aluminum is used by some key
industries, including the automotive, aerospace and construction
sectors, some see it as a bellwether for the earnings season.
    Earnings for companies in the S&P 500 are projected to have
increased just 1 percent from last year's first quarter, Thomson
Reuters data showed. The forecast is down sharply from the start
of the year, when profit growth was estimated at 6.5 percent.
    "These kinds of consolidation rallies really take time to
shake out the emotion that goes with both sides," said Rick
Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management
in Jersey City, New Jersey. 
    "Earnings will really help give this market some forward
direction, but they are in front of us and haven't really hit
yet," he said.
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading
regional shares closed up 0.36 percent at 1,338.12, while MSCI's
all-country equity index rose 0.28 percent.
    Gains in Europe were led by automakers, although some
traders said caution ahead of the European earnings season could
curb near-term progress.
    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 81.21 points,
or 0.5 percent, to 16,337.35. The S&P 500 gained 7.65
points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,859.61 and the Nasdaq Composite
 added 36.557 points, or 0.89 percent, to 4,149.543.
    The dollar rebounded from one of its worst performances
against the yen as the outlook for the greenback brightened on
expectations for stronger economic data.
    The dollar posted its largest one-day fall versus the yen in
more than seven months on Tuesday as investors bought back the
Japanese currency after the Bank of Japan held off on additional
monetary easing.
    "Our view going into 2014 is broad-based dollar rally
predicated on the acceleration of the U.S. economy and rising
U.S. rates," said Mark McCormick, currency strategist at Credit
Agricole in New York.
    After hitting lows of 101.52 yen in U.S. trade on
Tuesday, the dollar recovered to trade 0.2 percent higher at
101.99. The euro was up 0.27 percent against the yen at 140.80
    Against the dollar, the euro was up 0.09 percent at
    U.S. Treasuries prices fell as traders trimmed their bond
holdings in advance of a $21 billion auction of 10-year notes
and the Federal Reserve's release of the record of its policy
meeting last month.
    The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was down
10/32 in price to yield 2.7170 percent.
    "Treasuries have had a good run. There's some risk with this
week's supply," said Robert Tipp, chief investment strategist at
Prudential Fixed Income in Newark, New Jersey.
    Brent crude rose toward $108 a barrel as rising tension
between Russia and Ukraine overshadowed the bearish impact of a
substantial rise in crude oil stockpiles in the United States.
    While the Ukraine crisis may not directly impact global oil
supplies and trade, the risk premium on oil is rising as
investors worry the Kremlin's stand-off with the West could
quickly take a turn for the worse.
    Brent crude rose 15 cents to $107.82 a barrel. U.S.
oil rose 83 cents to $103.39.

 (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Marc Jones
in London; Editing by Dan Grebler and Leslie Adler)
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