Friday, 22 September, 2017

Tech, Insurers Lead Wall Street Rally As Irma, North Korea Fears Ease

Surprise! Silver Stocks May Be the Biggest Beneficiaries of Gold's Recent Rally Asian stock indices mixed
Jo Caldwell | 12 September, 2017, 00:22

The greenback had retreated against major rivals for much of last week, and especially Friday, as natural disasters, geopolitical tensions and a continued pullback in Treasury yields cast a pall over the US currency, with exchange rates for the Japanese yen, the euro and the pound at recent notable highs on their own fundamental drivers.

The dollar index, a measure of the United States currency against a weighted basket of peers, rose 0.3 per cent as concerns that Hurricane Irma would hit Florida with the force of a Category 5 hurricane dissipated after it made landfall as a Category 4 storm.

World shares returned to a record high yesterday, on relief that hurricane Irma looked to be losing strength in the United States and that North Korea's anniversary celebrations at the weekend passed without any new missile test.

At 2:27 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.19% at 22,057.12 points, on track for its strongest day since early March.

STORMY WEATHER: Investors were waiting for damage assessments after Hurricane Irma battered Florida's coastline, knocking out power to millions and flooding the financial district in downtown Miami and toppling two construction cranes there.

Asian stock markets pushed higher as traders breathed a sigh of relief that Pyongyang did not fire another missile on Saturday, choosing instead to mark its foundation day with a parade.

"US equities are moving solidly higher in early action, with geopolitical concerns fading as North Korea held off on conducting another missile test, while early reports are suggesting downgraded Hurricane Irma's economic impact may be lower than feared, bolstering insurance stocks", said analysts at Charles Schwab brokerage. Royal Caribbean Cruises jumped $3.88, or 3.3 percent, to $121.33 and American Airlines gained $1.27, or 2.9 percent, to $44.87.

Both Paris and Frankfurt were both up 1.1 percent in afternoon trading, while London stocks trailed with a 0.2 percent gain.

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The financial sector.SPSY was up 1.69 percent.

The dollar retraced some of last week's decline against major peers as worries surrounding North Korea and hurricane Irma eased.

The 10-year US Treasury yield, which moves inverse to price, was up 5.2 basis points at 2.091 per cent, after hitting a nine-month low of 2.06 per cent on Friday.

Apple rose 1.81 per cent a day ahead of the expected launch of a new iPhone, providing the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and S&P 500. Microsoft added 63 cents to $74.61 and Mastercard rose $2.73, or 2 percent, to $139.95.

On oil markets, USA prices rose modestly after taking a beating Friday caused by Hurricane Irma threatening crude supplies.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.84 yen from 107.79 yen late Friday.

The euro eased to US$1.2020, having hit a top of US$1.2092 on Friday amid speculation the European Central Bank was closer to starting a wind-back of its stimulus programme.

The technology sector.SPLRCT jumped 1.46 percent.

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