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Oil rises, world stock index at highest in over 5 months on NAFTA hopes

An index of major world stock markets rose to its highest level in more than five months on Monday, following signs of progress on a U.S.-Mexico trade deal.

Oil
Oil

Reassuring comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve chief weighed.

Commodity markets showed signs of cheerfulness about global economic growth prospects.

Brent rose to 76.11 dollars.

U.S. crude rose 0.2 per cent to 68.86 dollars per barrel.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks in 47 countries across the globe gained 0.91 per cent, helped by gains in developed markets from the U.S. to Europe and Asia.

The broad index was at its highest level since March 15.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes hit a record.

Bond prices fell and and prices for oil and copper rose as U.S. and Mexican trade negotiators were seen as close to reaching a common position on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

This is a pact that also includes Canada. An agreement could ease concerns about an escalation in global trade tensions.

Major currencies gained against the U.S. dollar, which has been a safe haven from months of trade tensions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 221.18 points, or 0.86 per cent, to 26,011.53, the S&P 500 gained 20.7 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 2,895.39 and the Nasdaq Composite added 69.67 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 8,015.65.

The S&P and Nasdaq indexes both hit record highs, continuing a run that followed Fed chief Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole symposium on Friday.

Powell affirmed that the U.S. central bank was sticking with its strategy of gradual rate hikes.

The gains on Friday cemented the S&P’s longest-running bull market.

A stronger-than-expected German business sentiment survey added to the upbeat mood in Europe.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.56 per cent while British markets are closed for a public holiday.

“We have low volumes today, but the biggest risks the market were discounting were trade wars, so any reduction in trade war risk such as NAFTA talks.

Even Trump efforts  in trying to find bilateral deals with everyone, has pushed U.S. shares to new records and will support markets,” said Angelo Meda, head of equities and a portfolio manager at Banor SIM in Italy.

“The global economy is on track, there’s less trade war risk, the only cloud on the horizon is Italy,” Meda added.

She was referring to upcoming budget talks in the weeks ahead.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.8405 per cent, from 2.826 per cent late on Friday.

In currency markets, the dollar steadied after weeks of gains in the face of aggressive Fed rate hikes and trade disputes.

The dollar index fell 0.2 per cent.

China’s yuan hit a near-4-week high to the dollar after the central bank revived a “counter-cyclical factor” in its daily fixing to support the currency.

This move gave hopes that Beijing might halt a record 10-week slide that rattled global markets.

The yuan traded offshore rose to a high of 6.7818, its strongest since July 31, but later pared gains.

Copper rose 1.38 percent to 6,069.00 dollars a tonne.

NAN


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