US, European stock rises on upbeat company earnings

Dow and Standard & Poor’s 500 set records while US dollar reaches four-month high

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Microsoft and Morgan Stanley were the latest US companies whose quarterly results topped analysts estimates Photograph: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Microsoft and Morgan Stanley were the latest US companies whose quarterly results topped analysts estimates Photograph: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg

 

Upbeat company earnings lifted US and European stock prices on Wednesday, with the Dow and Standard & Poor’s 500 setting record highs, while the dollar reached a four-month peak on bets the US Federal Reserve may raise interest rates by year-end.

The impressive run in major equity markets around the globe led investors to reduce their safe-haven positions in US and German government debt, sending their yields higher.

Oil prices fell to a two-month low before US data that may signal whether a supply glut in the top consuming country was easing.

“For the rally to sustain we are going to need to see continued improvement in the earnings and economic activity,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

Shortly after their open, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 14.72 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 18,573.73, the S&P 500 was up 3.23 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,167.01 and the Nasdaq Composite was 27.29 points, or 0.54 per cent higher, at 5,063.66.

Microsoft and Morgan Stanley were the latest US companies whose quarterly results topped analysts estimates.

Across the Atlantic, SAP, Europe’s largest software group, and ASML Holding, a supplier to semiconductor makers, reported quarterly results that beat forecasts.

They helped propel Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index up 0.58 per cent to 1,340 points.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, rose 0.65 points or 0.16 per cent, to 411.48.

Earlier, Japan’s Nikkei broke a seven-day winning streak, falling 0.3 per cent.

While most global stock markets post gains, investors scaled back their holdings of low-yielding government bonds, with US and German yields near their highest levels since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union on June 23rd.

Benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield was up 3 basis points at 1.59 per cent, while 10-year German Bund yield edged up 1 basis point at -0.17 per cent.

In currency trading, the dollar rose to its strongest levels in four months against a basket of currencies as lofty stock prices and the recent string of encouraging economic data revived wagers the Fed would raise interest rates later this year.

The dollar index was up 0.1 per cent at 97.133.

A stronger greenback partly weighed down oil prices with US crude futures falling a two-month low ahead of domestic data on energy inventories at 10:30 am (1430 GMT).

Brent crude was last down $0.44, or down 0.94 per cent, at $46.22 a barrel. US crude was last down $0.68, or down 1.52 percent, at $43.97 per barrel.

Gold declined to a three-week low on rising equity prices and a stronger dollar. It fell $15.15 or 1.14 per cent, to $1,316.58 an ounce.

– (Reuters)