New York: Global equity markets extended gains on Tuesday and the dollar traded near a three-year high, spurred by an optimistic tone after a good start to the US earnings season and last week’s strong US June jobs data.
Adding to the optimism, the pace of hiring by US employers increased in May, the labour department said in a report that was a positive sign for the American job market.
Equity markets reacted favorably to aluminum producer Alcoa, traditionally the first major US company to report quarterly earnings. It posted adjusted profit and revenue above expectations after markets closed on Monday.
Alcoa said it sees solid growth in global demand this year.
“We’ve got a risk-on theme with Alcoa’s better-than-expected profits,” said Jordan Hiscott, a trader at Gekko Global Markets.
“You are seeing people reallocating assets into equities; they are definitely very popular at the moment.”
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European companies hit its highest in a month before paring some gains as a deal to provide Greece the latest €6.8 billion ($8.7 billion) installment of its bailout bolstered the upbeat mood.
The broad regional index rose 0.84% to a provisional close of 1,189.64. MSCI’s all-country world equity index rose 0.65%.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, analysts’ expectations call for earnings of S&P 500 companies to increase 2.9% in the second quarter from a year ago, while revenue is forecast to have increased 1.5% in that period.
Of the 23 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results, 65.2% have beaten analyst expectations, 21.7% reported earnings in line with expectations and 13.0% reported results that were below expectations.
“I would think that the trend is going to be up,” said Jeff Meyerson, head of trading for Sunrise Securities in New York.
“We could at any time have a substantial correction again, but I think we still have a trend that’s doing OK. That will be determined by how the earnings come out in the next few weeks.”
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.56 points, or 0.40%, at 15,285.25. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 9.59 points, or 0.58%, at 1,650.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 15.68 points, or 0.45%, at 3,500.51.
Greece’s aid deal helped Greek and Portuguese bonds add to their gains of the last few days. It also helped lift the euro off the seven-week low it has been at since the European Central Bank made clear last week it is prepared to cut interest rates again.
The dollar rose toward recent three-year highs against a basket of currencies, with more investors betting on further gains as the Federal Reserve prepares to reduce its stimulus program.
The dollar’s biggest gains were against the British pound, after weaker-than-expected UK data drove sterling close to a three-year low and highlighted the divergence between UK and US monetary policy.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a currency basket, was up 0.59% at 84.692.
The euro was down 0.8% at $1.2766. The single currency earlier found some support after Greece secured aid that will prevent it from defaulting in August.
But comments by European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen weighted on the euro. “Markets are not putting too much faith in central bank verbal guidance,” he said.
US treasuries prices held steady as investors prepared to make room for a $32 billion three-year note sale, the first part of this week’s $66 billion in coupon-bearing supply.
The 10-year US Treasury note was unchanged in price to yield 2.6358%. Brent crude oil fell toward $107 a barrel as worries about supply disruptions in the Middle East eased, though investors were wary that more negative headlines from Egypt could trigger renewed volatility.
Brent fell 7 cents to $107.36 after slipping to a session low of $106.85 earlier. US crude rose 11 cents to $103.25. REUTERS