European markets, mining stocks higher as BHP aims to sell U.S. shale unit
Global equity markets rose on Tuesday, lifted by mining companies in Europe and technology shares on Wall Street, while crude oil rebounded on indications supply is gradually tightening, especially in the United States.
U.S. Treasury and gold prices fell ahead of an annual meeting this week of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are due to speak.
A broadly resurgent U.S. dollar prompted investors to square positions in a thin market before the central bank conference begins on Thursday.
With investors caught between a generally benign economic backdrop that prevents too much of a sell-off but lacks a catalyst for new highs, "we do seem to be settling into more of a range-bound market," said Larry Hatheway, chief economist at asset manager GAM.
A gauge of global equity markets, MSCI's all-country world stock index rose 0.52 per cent, while its emerging markets index gained 0.82 per cent.
U.S. stocks ended up on Tuesday, with each of the three major indexes posting their best one-day percentage gains in over a week, as lawmakers' comments on tax reform and the debt ceiling boosted investor optimism.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 196.21 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 21,899.96, the S&P 500 gained 24.11 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 2,452.48 and the Nasdaq Composite added 84.35 points, or 1.36 per cent, to 6,297.48.
In London, the blue-chip FTSE 100 equity index rose 0.89 per cent, lifted by a rally in base metals that pushed copper to a three-year high and nickel to its strongest in eight months on the London Metal Exchange.
Copper rose to US$6,642.50 a tonne, the highest since November 2014, before paring gains to US$6,592.50, while three-month nickel was bid up 1.4 per cent at US$11,475 a tonne.
"There's nothing really fundamental to drive things onwards from here, so I think it's a bit of misplaced euphoria and trend-following buyers jumping on the bandwagon," said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares rose 0.85 per cent.
Europe's basic resources sector enjoyed a second session of gains and was the top-gaining sector, supported by a rally in iron ore prices.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were last down 6/32 in price to yield 2.2009 per cent.
In European debt markets, Italian government bond yields jumped, stretching the gap with German bunds to a five-week high, in the wake of proposals to introduce a parallel currency in Italy that have upped the ante for elections due next year.
Italy's 10-year bond yield, which moves inversely to the price, climbed 8 basis points to a three-week high at 2.11 per cent, its biggest daily rise in a month.
Oil prices rose. Benchmark Brent crude was up 52 cents at US$52.18 a barrel, while U.S. light, sweet crude was 53 cents higher at US$47.90 a barrel.
"U.S. crude oil stocks have been falling consistently in recent weeks," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.
The dollar rallied after falling for two straight days, benefiting from the euro's decline following weaker-than-expected euro zone data as well as investors adjusting positions ahead of the central bankers' conference in Jackson Hole. The dollar index rose 0.36 per cent against a trade-weighted basket of its currencies to 93.431. The euro, meanwhile, slid 0.41 per cent against the greenback to US$1.1766, retracing most of its overnight gains when it posted its biggest single day rise so far this month. Spot gold was down 0.25 per cent at US$1,287.66 an ounce.