Stocks, dollar rally after FBI clears Clinton in email probe

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets across the globe rallied on Monday, along with the U.S. dollar, notching their biggest gains in weeks after the FBI stood by its view that no criminal charges were warranted against Hillary Clinton over her email practices.

Investors look at computer screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

The news lifted a cloud over the Democrat’s presidential campaign and gave it new momentum before Tuesday’s U.S. election, sending the benchmark S&P 500 index up more than 2 percent. The index snapped a nine-day losing skid, its longest in more than 35 years, and posted its best daily performance in over eight months.

European stocks jumped and many of the safe-haven assets that had performed strongly last week, when polls showed Republican candidate Donald Trump closing the gap with Clinton, reversed course. Gold and U.S. Treasury bond prices fell.

Investors had been unnerved in recent days by signs of a tightening U.S. presidential race, evidently preferring what is seen as a known quantity in Clinton, over the political wild card, Trump.

“The market hates uncertainty; it’s tough to fall back on a cliché but it is literally true,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. “Prior to those revelations, people saw Clinton kind of cruising to a victory and that put it in some doubt.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 371.32 points, or 2.08 percent, to 18,259.6, the S&P 500 gained 46.34 points, or 2.22 percent, to 2,131.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 119.80 points, or 2.37 percent, to 5,166.17. MSCI’s all-country world index was last up 1.6 percent, its best day since June 29. The index had closed at a four-month low on Friday.

Europe’s index of the leading 300 shares closed 1.7 percent higher, its strongest rally in nine weeks, with a 2.9 percent rise in financials leading the way.

One of the biggest winners was the Mexican peso, which has been a market proxy for sentiment over the U.S. election and has performed in inverse correlation with Trump’s perceived chances of winning the White House.

The Republican candidate’s proposed policies are considered a negative for Mexico’s economy. The currency rose as much as 2.55 percent to a 1-1/2 week high of 18.5457 per dollar.

The dollar jumped 0.69 percent against a basket of currencies after a 1.3 percent drop last week.

The shift in sentiment was reflected by the steep fall in anticipated market volatility. The VIX index, also known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” was on track to post its biggest one-day fall in over four months and was poised to snap a nine-day stretch of gains.

Gold, which also rose every day last week to a one-month high above $1,300 an ounce, fell 1.8 percent, its biggest drop since Oct. 4, to $1,280.94.

Bond prices retreated as risk appetite surged across the board. Benchmark 10-year notes were down 13/32 in price to yield 1.8279 percent, up from 1.783 percent late on Friday.

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler