Equities edge higher, bonds rise on hopes of stimulus
By David Randall NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity benchmarks gained late on Thursday, with safe-haven bonds also rising as investors shrugged off disappointing U.S. jobs data and took comfort in the possibility of states re-opening after lockdowns and fueling an economic recovery.
By David Randall
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity benchmarks gained late on Thursday, with safe-haven bonds also rising as investors shrugged off disappointing U.S. jobs data and took comfort in the possibility of states re-opening after lockdowns and fueling an economic recovery.
Stock markets have rallied more than 30% since their March lows following unprecedented government stimulus measures and central bank interventions to counter the impact of economic lockdowns. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell quashed talk of U.S. interest rates going negative to kick-start investment.
Like the Fed, Bank of England chief Andrew Bailey said Thursday it was not considering "the very big step" of sub-zero rates, while the Bank of Japan said it was not planning to go even deeper into negative territory.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would be open to negotiating another possible stimulus bill.
"We should see accelerating spending in the future, which is very good for economic growth," said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group.
Cox said a J.P. Morgan report showing credit card spending dropping 40% in March and early April compared with last year suggests non-essential spending will trend higher as lock-downs roll off.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.03%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 377.37 points, or 1.62%, to 23,625.34, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 32.5 points, or 1.15%, to 2,852.5 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 80.55 points, or 0.91%, to 8,943.72.
Initial U.S. claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 2.981 million for the week ended May 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday, nearly 500,000 more than anticipated by economists polled by Reuters.
Safe-haven assets such as U.S. government bonds also inched higher. Benchmark 10-year notes
The dollar index <=USD> rose 0.14%, with the euro
"Absent notable news on the vaccine front, it's hard to envision a scenario where the market goes up significantly from here," said Brian Price, head of investments at Commonwealth Financial Network. "I would say the same from the down side."
"It’s most likely going to be range bound," Price said.
China has reimposed movement restrictions near its borders with North Korea and Russia after a new coronavirus outbreak was detected there and South Korea was working to contain an outbreak centered around bars and nightclubs in Seoul.
"It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away," WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan told an online briefing on Wednesday.
A dip in U.S. crude oil stockpiles helped push prices higher. The International Energy Agency estimated oil demand will have a record fall in 2020, keeping Brent just below $30 a barrel. [O/R]
(Reporting by David Randall; additional reporting by Jessica DiNapoli; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.