Global Markets - World stocks climb; sterling steady ahead of May vote

By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major world stock indexes rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 supported by gains in U.S. bank stocks after strong earnings, while the pound was steady ahead of a no-confidence vote in British Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

Reuters January 17, 2019 01:05:13 IST
Global Markets - World stocks climb; sterling steady ahead of May vote

Global Markets  World stocks climb sterling steady ahead of May vote

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major world stock indexes rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 supported by gains in U.S. bank stocks after strong earnings, while the pound was steady ahead of a no-confidence vote in British Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

Investors saw potential for legislative deadlock forcing London to delay its departure from the European Union following the parliamentary defeat of May's Brexit deal late Tuesday. The no-confidence vote is expected at 1900 GMT.

May is expected to survive the vote, sponsored by the main opposition Labour Party. Expectations of a softer Brexit - perhaps incorporating the Labour Party's idea of membership of a permanent customs union - gave some support to the pound.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2858, flat on the day.

"We do think it is unlikely that sterling will fall to fresh lows unless the current government falls, and that is unlikely although the risk is not zero," said Alvin Tan, an FX strategist at Societe Generale in London.

Stocks had mostly priced in the Tuesday Brexit vote's defeat and traded higher. The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rose 0.54 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.23 percent.

On Wall Street, strong earnings from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs helped to keep stocks in positive territory. Bank of America shares were up more than 7 percent while Goldman's stock was up about 8 percent.

"There is hope for this earnings season, and Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have got it started off on the right foot," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer at Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 142.94 points, or 0.59 percent, to 24,208.53, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 8.47 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,618.77 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 16.81 points, or 0.24 percent, to 7,040.65.

The dollar rose against the euro as the euro zone single currency was pushed lower by worries about the zone's economy, with the euro down 0.09 percent to $1.1404.

Earlier this week, data showed Germany barely escaped a recession in the second half of 2018 and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi warned on Tuesday the euro zone economy was weaker than anticipated.

In sovereign debt markets, British government bonds underperformed versus German peers in early trade.

U.S. Treasury yields rose as stronger-than-forecast results from two major banks lifted Wall Street, reducing safe-haven demand for U.S. government debt.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.72 percent, from 2.708 percent late on Tuesday.

Oil prices steadied after climbing about 3 percent in the previous session, with data showing growing U.S. refined product inventories and record crude production.

Brent crude futures rose 3 cents to $60.67 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 28 cents to $51.83.

(Additional reporting by Tom Wilson in London and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich and James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Putin says he has noted Joe Biden's harsh anti-Russian rhetoric
World

Putin says he has noted Joe Biden's harsh anti-Russian rhetoric

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he had noted what he called "sharp anti-Russian rhetoric" from U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, but that he had been encouraged by Biden's comments on arms control. Putin, in comments on state television ahead of the U.S.

In hardening stance, France, Germany push for EU sanctions on Russians over Navalny
World

In hardening stance, France, Germany push for EU sanctions on Russians over Navalny

By John Irish and Robin Emmott PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - France and Germany said on Wednesday they would propose European Union sanctions against Russian individuals after receiving no credible answers from Moscow over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent. Several Western governments have said Russia, which has denied accusations by Navalny that it was involved in the poisoning, must help in investigations or face consequences. The decision and speed with which Europe's two main powers agreed to push ahead with sanctions suggests a hardening of the bloc's diplomacy towards Moscow.

Coronavirus patient Trump seeks ways to mount campaign comeback
World

Coronavirus patient Trump seeks ways to mount campaign comeback

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, under coronavirus quarantine in the White House and restricted from traveling, is seeking ways to put a spark back in his struggling re-election bid and get behind his desk in the Oval Office with four weeks left until Election Day.