US dollar at 5-week low boosts commodities; stocks gain

Published 08.06.2016 19:06

The U.S. dollar fell on Wednesday on waning expectations of a near-term interest rate hike, boosting commodity prices, while an index of world equity markets advanced toward a six-week high.

Oil prices rose to eight-months highs, up for a third consecutive session on supply worries, and U.S. bonds held steady before a 10-year note auction.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was last up 0.32 percent, but European shares snapped a two-day rally, hurt by a drop in financial stocks.

The index was on pace for its fifth straight session of gains, helped by buoyant crude oil prices and a dovish tone from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Monday.

"A positive move develops its own momentum," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland.

"As we saw with the clearly disappointing jobs report, even some bad news is not enough to shake off the positive feeling that has been driving prices higher," he said.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26.7 points, or 0.15 percent, at 17,964.98, the S&P 500 gained 1.5 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,113.63 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.98 points, or 0.02 percent, at 4,960.78.

The S&P 500 index is less than 1 percent shy of its all-time high touched more than a year ago.

Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.57 percent at 1,352.56. A drop in Austrian bank Erste after insurance company Uniqa said late on Tuesday that it would sell around 17.4 million Erste shares, knocked financial stocks.

Asian shares edged up, erasing earlier losses, as investors weighed May Chinese imports that beat predictions against worse-than-expected exports. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.32 percent.

Oil prices rose as relentless sabotage of oil supplies in Nigeria. Prices pulled back some on Wednesday after U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed a surprise build in stockpiles, but stayed above $50 a barrel.

Brent crude was last up 1.17 percent at $52.04 a barrel, while U.S. crude was last up 1.03 percent at $50.88 per barrel.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries were steady ahead of a government sale of $20 billion in 10-year notes, the second sale of $56 billion in new coupon-bearing supply this week.

A $24 billion auction of three-year notes on Tuesday showed relatively soft demand as indirect buyers, which include asset managers and other investors, reduced their participation.

That does not necessarily indicate that demand will not be strong for Wednesday's 10-year note sale.

"There seems to be pretty good demand for the long-end and the 10-year especially," said Dan Mulholland, head of Treasuries trading at Credit Agricole in New York.

The U.S. dollar fell to a five-week trough against a basket of currencies, hurt by waning expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates anytime soon. The dollar index was last down 0.32 percent at 93.528.

The weaker dollar helped boost copper and gold prices, while aluminium climbed to the highest levels in nearly a month.

Spot gold rose more than one percent to a near three-week high and was last up 1.35 percent to $1,260.21 an ounce.

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