Stocks rise on US stimulus bets; gold whipsawed

Oil prices climbed after government data showed US oil inventories fell across the board, bolstering hopes for increased fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy. — Reuters pic
Oil prices climbed after government data showed US oil inventories fell across the board, bolstering hopes for increased fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Aug 13 — Global stocks rose yesterday, ending at their highest since February as investors kept betting on more stimulus in the United States despite doubts, while gold was whipsawed and silver clawed back from a massive drop.

The euro strengthened versus the greenback and the dollar index gave back some recent gains, barely changed mid-way this week following seven consecutive weekly declines.

Recently battered technology stocks reclaimed leadership on Wall Street and the benchmark S&P 500 ended near record highs, even as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House and top Democrats in Congress may not reach a deal on coronavirus aid.

Both US parties traded jabs on who was to blame for blocking relief to tens of millions of jobless Americans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 289.93 points, or 1.05 per cent, to 27,976.84, the S&P 500 gained 46.66 points, or 1.40 per cent, to 3,380.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 229.42 points, or 2.13 per cent, to 11,012.24.

The S&P ended within 6 points of its closing record high of 3,386.15. The index slipped on Tuesday after seven straight days of gains.

“We’re seeing buyers show up very quickly, any chance they get when the market declines. To me, that’s a very bullish sign,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments in New York.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.23 per cent to close at its highest since late February.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.25 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei futures rose 2.29 per cent.

Good as gold

The 10-year US Treasury last fell 5/32 in price to yield 0.6731 per cent, from 0.658 per cent late on Tuesday, after relatively strong demand greeted a record offering on benchmark notes by the Treasury.

Oil prices climbed after government data showed US oil inventories fell across the board, bolstering hopes for increased fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy.

US crude recently rose 2.28 per cent to US$42.56 (RM178.48) per barrel and Brent was at US$45.32, up 1.84 per cent on the day.

The dollar index fell 0.28 per cent, with the euro up 0.37 per cent to US$1.1782.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.38 per cent versus the greenback to 106.89 per dollar, while Sterling ended at US$1.3032, down 0.12 per cent on the day.

Gold swung from being down 2.5 per cent to adding 0.3 per cent to US$1,917.16 an ounce, a day after it suffered its biggest daily fall in seven years. Silver fell as much as 5.5 per cent and rose as much as 6 per cent after a 15 per cent plunge, the largest in over a decade, on Tuesday.

Bullion has gained 28 per cent so far this year, as investors buy it as a hedge against fears of currency debasement as central banks flood economies with free money in response to the global coronavirus crisis. — Reuters

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