By Chuck Mikolajczak
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK U.S. stocks climbed on Monday to set a record peak and European equity markets also advanced, buoyed by strong gains in the energy sector as oil prices surged to a three-week high. Both Brent and U.S. crude LCOc1 jumped more than 4 percent to hit their highest levels in about three weeks, as the dollar weakened. The gains were also helped by comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin that raised expectations major oil producing countries could reach a deal to limit output at a meeting next week.Among U.S. equities, the S&P energy index .SPNY gained 2.1 percent as the top-performing sector, helping to push the benchmark S&P 500 index above its intraday record of 2,193,81 set on Aug. 15. The advance put the index on pace to set a closing high. "It’s in that mindset now, we have broken up and out, we are testing the highs, so new highs beget new highs," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities in New York. "Now it’s all psychological." The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 65.85 points, or 0.35 percent, to 18,933.78, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 14.38 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,196.28 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 39.73 points, or 0.75 percent, to 5,361.24.
The Nasdaq hit an intraday record for a second day, reaching as high as 5,364.76, but market participants cautioned that volume was likely to be light this week ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday. The climb in oil lifted European markets, with the STOXX Europe oil & gas index .SXEP up 2.1 percent. Europe's index of leading 300 shares .FTEU3 closed up 0.3 percent. MSCI's all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS advanced 0.6 percent. The dollar .DXY eased 0.06 percent to 101.15 against a basket of major currencies, pausing after a 10-day streak that saw it gaining nearly 5 percent. That rally was fueled by expectations of policies by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that would lead to interest rate increases.
In similar fashion, U.S. Treasury yields, which have soared in the wake of the U.S. election, declined from one-year highs as the recent selloff tempted some new buyers. Benchmark 10-year note yields US10YT=RR jumped as high as 2.36 percent on Friday and were last up 2/32 in price to yield 2.3298 percent.Sterling GBP= climbed 1 percent against the dollar to $1.2461 as the market processed British Prime Minister Theresa May's latest hints on the possible shape of Britain's exit from the European Union.
Copper prices CMCU3, which have risen on Trump's promise to spend heavily on infrastructure, were up 2.4 percent CMCU3 at $5,553.50 a tonne on the prospect of better demand in top consumer China and on the dip in the greenback.The pause in the U.S. dollar rally helped gold XAU= bounce from a 5-1/2 month low. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,210.86 an ounce. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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