NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street hit record highs and the dollar edged up on Tuesday as traders monitored comments from Federal Reserve chair nominee Jerome Powell and waited for progress on U.S. tax reform. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidThe U.S. Treasury yield curve steepened after hitting its flattest level in a decade, in what analysts viewed as a much-needed reprieve from months of flattening. The major U.S. stock indexes rose and the S&P hit a session high during the broadcast of Powell’s confirmation hearing with their biggest boost coming from financial stocks. “For the most part, his prepared remarks painted a similar picture to the outgoing Chair Janet Yellen’s monetary policy strategy,” said Minh Trang, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California. “What he is trying to convey is that there is going to be consistency in the transition.” Powell told the hearing that the best way to sustain the U.S. economic recovery would be to continue on path of gradual rate increases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 133.43 points, or 0.57 percent, to 23,714.21, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 13.52 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,614.94 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 17.73 points, or 0.26 percent, to 6,896.25. European shares rose, supported by consumer staples as Anglo-Dutch Unilever (ULVR.L) said it favoured a single base, and by oil and gas stocks after Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) cancelled an austerity dividend. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 rose 0.63 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.31 percent. Dollar banknotes are seen in this picture illustration taken April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration The dollar index .DXY rose 0.25 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.16 percent to $1.1877. Hopes for U.S. tax cuts helped the greenback as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that the plans were “coming along very well.” However, Trump’s drive for tax reform faced new drama in the Senate, where two Republican lawmakers demanded changes in exchange for their help in moving the measure forward ahead of a possible vote as early as Thursday. Meanwhile, the British pound slipped from an almost two-month high against the dollar as Brexit-related doubts began to re-exert their grip on the UK currency. Sterling dipped 0.7 percent to $1.3219 GBP= which would be its sharpest one-day percentage decline since Nov. 2, even after the Bank of England said UK banks could handle a bad Brexit, and after the apparent aversion of an Irish political crisis that had threatened to derail a Brexit summit. “Investors are growing more nervous about possible delays to the Brexit negotiations by the issue of the Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland border,” Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange, said in a note. Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 4/32 in price to yield 2.3135 percent, from 2.328 percent late on Monday. The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last rose 8/32 in price to yield 2.753 percent, from 2.765 percent late on Monday. Oil prices eased on uncertainty over the outcome of an OPEC meeting this week at which an extension to its price-supporting oil output cuts will be discussed. U.S. crude CLcv1 fell 0.52 percent to $57.81 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $63.38, down 0.72 percent on the day.
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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2017 03:15 AM