Global stocks advance on coronavirus treatment hopes, dollar slips

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar slid but a gauge of global equity markets advanced on Monday, driven by coronavirus treatment hopes that bolstered risk sentiment and lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to all-time peaks.

Apple Inc rose 0.9% to cross $500 per share for the first time, while Chinese retailer Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares climbed 3.3%, to a record high. Shares of electric carmaker also set a new high before falling -3.3%.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s move to use anti-body rich plasma from recovered patients was hailed by President Donald Trump and came a day after he accused the FDA of impeding the roll-out of treatments for political reasons.

The announcement came on the eve of the Republican National Convention, where Trump will be nominated as the party’s candidate for the presidency for four more years.

Markets also geared up for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole meeting later in the week.

Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index added 1.48% to 1,437.53, while MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets rose 0.94% to 576.33 after overnight gains in Asia.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.95%, the S&P 500 gained 0.74% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.51%.

“Vaccine news are giving equities another global boost, despite the worsening in infection rates observed in many jurisdictions,” said Citi’s Luis Costa.

U.S. regulators on Sunday authorized the use of blood plasma from recovered patients as a treatment option and AstraZeneca rose on a Financial Times report that the U.S. government was considering fast-tracking its experimental vaccine.

AstraZeneca rose 3.0%, providing the FTSE 100 index in London its biggest boost.

Safe-haven German bond yields rose after their longest decline this year as hopes for a coronavirus treatment boosted risk appetite. German 10-year bunds yielded -0.505%.

In currency markets the dollar dipped but held above two-year lows against the euro. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week will give a highly anticipated speech about the U.S. central bank’s policy framework review.

A sharp dollar sell-off against the euro has paused, with the greenback getting a boost on Friday after data showed a recovery in U.S. business conditions, while European data showed slowing improvement.

The dollar index fell 0.086%, with the euro up 0.19% to $1.1818.

The Japanese yen was flat versus the greenback at 105.81 per dollar.

Crude oil prices rose as storms closed in on the Gulf of Mexico, shutting more than half its oil production, and on signs of progress in development of COVID-19 treatments.

Brent crude futures rose $0.52, to $44.87 a barrel. U.S. crude futures gained $0.28, to $42.62 a barrel.

Gold prices rose as the dollar dipped, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies, but hopes for progress in the treatment of COVID-19 limited gains in the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold prices fell -0.12% to $1,937.15 an ounce.

Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 here

Source: Read Full Article