GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street powers world stocks; dollar up on Brexit woes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street powers world stocks; dollar up on Brexit woes
Credit: © Reuters.

* Treasury, Bund yields touch multi-month lows

* Treasury 3-mo/10-yr yield curve hits flattest since August 2007

* Sterling on track for largest daily loss since January

* U.S. oil down after touching five-month high (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, March 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street led global stocks higher on Thursday on the back of upbeat economic data, while the dollar rallied despite the Federal Reserve's uber-dovish stance as Brexit worries weighed on the euro and sterling.

The British currency tumbled 0.73 percent against the U.S. dollar on a rising probability of a "no-deal" Brexit that would likely slow economic growth. day after the Fed flagged an economic slowdown, U.S. data showed jobless benefit applications fell more than expected while mid-Atlantic factory activity rebounded, triggering gains in technology stocks, and the Wall Street benchmark .SPX closed at its highest in over five months. Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 216.84 points, or 0.84 percent, to 25,962.51, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 30.65 points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,854.88 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 109.99 points, or 1.42 percent, to 7,838.96.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.68 percent and emerging market stocks rose 0.11 percent.

Brazil's stock benchmark fell sharply after former president Michel Temer, who left office three months ago, was arrested as part of the sweeping anti-corruption "Car Wash" probe.

The Bovespa .BVSP fell 1.3 percent while the Brazilian currency BRL= lost 0.64 percent at 3.7995 per dollar.


Benchmark Treasury yields briefly touched their lowest since early 2018 and the yield spread between the three-month Treasury bill US3MT=RR and the 10-year note shrank to its narrowest since August 2007. A narrow spread between the two yields indicates increased market expectations of a recession.

"The Fed has doubled down on its dovish tilt," said Matt Freund, head of fixed-income strategies at Calamos Investments. "The global economy is clearly softening and the Fed is looking at liquidity conditions."

Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 1/32 in price to yield 2.5387 percent, from 2.537 percent late on Wednesday.

Three-month bills were yielding 2.4175 percent.

The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.9651 percent, from 2.975 percent late on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar recouped the ground lost in the previous session after the dovish Fed's statement. Sterling continued to fall with the rising likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.

European Union leaders wrangled over what kind of delay to offer Britain as it looked less likely that Prime Minister Theresa May can convince parliament to ensure an orderly withdrawal. pound GBP=D3 was recently trading at $1.31, down 0.69 percent on the day.

The dollar index .DXY rose 0.63 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.35 percent to $1.1371.

"The focus shifted back to Brexit and the potential downside that a 'no deal' would create," said Minh Trang, senior currency trader at California's Silicon Valley Bank.

Norway's currency shot up after its central bank, going against the grain, raised interest rates and signaled a 50-50 chance another hike will follow by mid-year. Norwegian krone NOK= gained 0.56 percent versus the U.S. dollar at 8.46.

Oil prices fell after touching their highest in 2019.

U.S. crude CLc1 fell 0.7 percent to $59.81 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was last at $67.64, down 1.26 percent on the day.

Spot gold XAU= dropped 0.2 percent to $1,309.27 an ounce. Copper CMCU3 lost 0.38 percent to $6,432.50 a tonne.

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