Monday, June 21

Stimulus hopes lift stocks, pound hits six-week high

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global stocks advanced on Monday as investors banked on the likelihood of stimulus measures from the world’s central banks to reverse slowing growth, while the pound hit a six-week high in choppy trading on wavering hopes for Britain’s ability to leave the European Union with a deal.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

After two straight weeks of gains, stocks on Wall Street were modestly higher, buoyed by gains in energy .SPNY and financial .SPSY shares. Market participants saw last week’s break by major U.S. indexes out of their August range as a positive sign.

Earlier, data showed Japan’s economy grew at a slower pace than initially estimated in the second quarter as the U.S.-China trade war prompted a downward revision of business spending, intensifying calls for the central bank to deepen stimulus this month.

Still, barring a major announcement on trade developments between the United States and China, stock movements were likely to be muted ahead of the next policy announcement by the Federal Reserve on Sept. 18.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would continue to “act as appropriate” to sustain U.S. economic expansion.

“Barring any surprise news, this should be a quiet week in the equity market as most investors are on hold until next week for the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting,” said Shawn Gibson, chief investment officer of asset management firm Liquid Strategies in Atlanta.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 72.29 points, or 0.27%, to 26,869.75, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.58 points, or 0.12%, to 2,982.29 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 7.05 points, or 0.09%, to 8,110.13.

European shares advanced, holding at the highest level in over a month, after data showed a surprise rise in German exports and on firmer expectations of new stimulus by the European Central Bank later this week.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.29% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.10%.

Sterling hit a six-week high of $1.2382 GBP= as investors saw the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit lessening and data that indicated Britain’s economy picked up more than anticipated in July.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will try for a second time on Monday to call a snap parliamentary election, but is set to be thwarted once more by opposition lawmakers who want to ensure he cannot take Britain out of the European Union without a divorce agreement in place.

Sterling’s gains were briefly pared sharply as John Bercow, speaker in Britain’s House of Commons, announced he would stand down from the role.

Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2359, up 0.64% on the day.

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.18%, with the euro EUR= up 0.31% to $1.1061.

Oil prices jumped after the new Saudi energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, confirmed expectations that there would be no radical change in his country’s oil policy.

U.S. crude CLcv1 rose 2.71% to $58.05 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $62.79, up 2.03% on the day.

Additional reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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