Stocks rebound, euro gains on sentiment data
NEW YORK, May 12 — Global stocks rebounded on Friday on data that showed US consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in more than four years in early May, but commodity prices fell after weak data from China reduced demand expectations.
European and US stocks turned higher after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed that despite a recent slowdown in job growth, nearly twice as many Americans reported hearing about new job gains than fresh job losses.
The gains in equity markets helped trim losses in crude oil and led the euro to rebound against the US dollar.
"Households are feeling more comfortable. It's pretty good news for consumer spending," said Gus Faucher, senior macroeconomist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 36.59 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 12,891.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 4.26 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 1,362.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 21.51 points, or 0.73 per cent, at 2,955.15.
The FTSEurofirst index of top European stocks pared losses to close up 0.3 per cent at a provisional 1022.31 points.
The MSCI world equity index also rebounded, gaining 0.1 per cent at 316.31.
The euro rose for a second day after falling for eight straight sessions, with investors still wary of Greece, where inconclusive election results last Sunday threw the country into political disarray and raised the risk of it exiting the euro zone.
The euro last traded slightly above break-even at US$1.2935 (RM3.9732) after earlier hitting a trough of US$1.2905, its lowest level since JanGlobal 23.
The gains in global stocks offset dour news from Europe, where uncertainty over Europe pushed government debt prices higher, with German Bund futures hitting record highs at one point.
Prices of crude oil, copper and gold all fell, and an unexpected fall in US producer prices helped debt prices climb.
Plans to support Spain's troubled banks failed to convince investors, and the Greek stock market dropped to levels last seen 20 years ago during an earlier crisis over a mechanism to reduce exchange rate swings in Europe before the euro's advent.
German Bund futures rose as high as 143.09, up 48 ticks on the day.
The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was up 6/32 in price to yield 1.85 per cent.
Crude prices fell below US$112 a barrel early in the session after a weak reading of industrial growth in China sparked worries that demand may slow from the world's No. 2 oil consumer.
Chinese industrial output expanded in April at its slowest annual pace in nearly three years. When paired with poor trade figures from Thursday, the data suggest China's economy continues to slow after a weak first-quarter performance.
Brent crude futures for June delivery lost 17 cents to US$112.56 a barrel.
The US light sweet June contract dropped 1 cent to US$96.07 a barrel.
The US dollar index traded up slightly at 80.154, and against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell 0.06 per cent at 79.87. — Reuters