Oil rebound buoys Wall St; bonds, gold erase gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A sharp rebound in crude prices lifted stocks on Wall Street on Wednesday in a late rally, but a gauge of equities across the globe closed lower on lingering concern about economic growth.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Crude turned higher after data showed U.S. gasoline demand spiked and the S&P 500 climbed steadily after that, ending 2 percent above its session low.

“You have a tremendous amount of underperformance out there in the hedge fund community,” said Ian Winer, director of trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “When the market starts to turn, it starts to feed on itself because people can’t afford to miss out on a rally.”

Other assets, like Treasuries and gold, reversed course after the bounce in crude.

“As much as it frustrates people, the reality is (oil and equities) are incredibly highly correlated and they have been really going back to November,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 53.21 points, or 0.32 percent, to 16,484.99, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 8.53 points, or 0.44 percent, to 1,929.8 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 39.02 points, or 0.87 percent, to 4,542.61.

The 14-day correlation between the S&P 500 and U.S. crude stands at 0.93, just below the 3-1/2 year high hit earlier this month.

The bounce in the S&P contrasted with a fall in European stocks, which were weighed by energy and commodity sector names. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index .FTEU3 fell 2.3 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks globally .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.5 percent.

Nikkei futures NKc1 jumped 0.9 percent.


Government data showed U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose by 3.5 million barrels in the United States last week to an all-time peak. But the increased gasoline demand over the past four weeks and a drop in inventories helped push crude futures higher.

Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, rose 3.7 percent to $34.50 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 added 1.1 percent to $32.23.

The turn in oil and stocks pushed yields on the lowest-risk government bonds sharply higher, with prices ending the day slightly in the red.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. notes US10YT=RR were last off 2/32 in price to yield 1.7501 percent. At their session low the yield was 1.647 percent.

In currency markets, the yen, which had been initially bid up on its safe-haven appeal, ended the day above 112, little changed against the U.S. dollar JPY=. It earlier reached an almost three-year high against the euro EURJPY= of 123.43 yen.

Sterling GBP= hit a seven-year low versus the dollar of $1.3876 on concerns Britons might vote to leave the European Union in a June referendum. It last traded down 0.7 percent at $1.3924 GBP=.

The euro EUR= dipped 0.1 percent versus the greenback to $1.1008. The dollar index .DXY was flat.

Copper CMCU3 slipped 0.1 percent to $4,641.85 a tonne.

Spot gold XAU= retreated from major gains earlier in the day, last trading up 0.2 percent. It had risen as much as 2.1 percent.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, addiitonal reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Steve Orlofsky