Global stocks climb, shrugging off inflation data; dollar falls - Metro US

Global stocks climb, shrugging off inflation data; dollar falls

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) – World equity markets climbed anew on Thursday as investors shrugged off the latest indication of rising U.S. inflation, while strong global growth weighed on the dollar and pushed it to a 15-month low against the Japanese yen.

U.S. producer prices accelerated in January, according to a Labor Department report that offered further evidence of growing inflation pressures in the world’s largest economy.

The report came on the heels of data on Wednesday showing a broad increase in U.S. consumer prices last month.

Faster inflation, which reduces the return of fixed income, spooked the bond market and initially sparked a sell-off in equities on Wednesday. But stocks later rallied on the notion that strong economic growth can offset moderate inflation.

An index of world stock markets <.MIWD00000PUS> advanced more than 1 percent, and major European indexes also rose, bolstered by strong results from Airbus SE , the region’s largest aerospace firm.

On Wall Street Apple Inc rose after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed in a regulatory filing that the iPhone maker is now its top common stock investment.

Network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc was among other technology stocks that rose, after its strong quarterly results and upbeat forecast.

Leo Grohowski, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon Wealth Management in New York, said he was encouraged by the reaction to the inflation data.

“In the midst of all the nervousness of the past two weeks, we’re winding out a really strong earnings reporting season,” Grohowski said. “There were a lot eyes fixating on the PPI number this morning, it came in a little hot. But much like yesterday, the market’s shaking it off.”

Of the 383 companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index that have reported fourth-quarter earnings, 76.5 percent have beat analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

MSCI’s all-country world index gained 1.18 percent while the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> of leading shares in Europe gained 0.44 percent to close at 1475.50.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 227.13 points, or 0.91 percent, to 25,120.62, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 25.44 points, or 0.94 percent, to 2,724.07, and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 98.76 points, or 1.38 percent, to 7,242.38.

Rising interest rates need not be a worry as long as the economy is growing, Grohowski said.

“The market’s growing increasingly comfortable that maybe 3 percent on a 10-year Treasury note is OK,” he said.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 4/32 in price to push yields down to 2.8967 percent. Earlier in the session they shot up to 2.944 percent.

The gap between German and U.S. 10-year borrowing costs reached its widest point since April after the higher-than-expected U.S. inflation data led to a sharp sell-off in U.S. Treasuries earlier in the day.

While investors also shed European government bonds after Wednesday’s inflation data, political risks kept a cap on yields.

German 10-year government bond yields were a basis point higher at 0.76 percent.

The dollar fell across the board. “Forex markets rotate from theme to theme all the time. The theme right now is global growth and strong global growth has historically pushed the dollar lower,” said Greg Anderson, global head of FX strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.5 percent, with the euro up 0.39 percent to $1.2496. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.59 percent versus the greenback at 106.40 per dollar.

Oil prices were mixed. Brent pared losses and U.S. crude rebounded on a weak dollar and Saudi Arabia’s comments that OPEC and other producers were committed to cutting supplies, which offset record U.S. production and rising inventories.

U.S. crude output hit a record 10.27 million barrels per day, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, making the United States a bigger producer than Saudi Arabia. U.S. crude and gasoline inventories rose last week, U.S. data showed.

Brent futures fell 3 cents to settle at $64.33 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled up 74 cents at $61.34.

U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled down $2.70 at $1,355.30 per ounce.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler)

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