Stocks shake off stimulus doubts; gold whipsawed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks rose the most in a month on Wednesday on continued bets for more stimulus in the United States even as that was put in doubt late on Tuesday, while gold was whipsawed and silver clawed back from a massive drop.

The euro strengthened versus the greenback and the dollar index gave back some of its recent gains, barely changed mid-way this week following seven consecutive weekly declines.

Recently battered technology stocks reclaimed leadership on Wall Street and the benchmark S&P 500 was again brushing against its record highs, even as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House and top Democrats in Congress may not be able to reach a deal on coronavirus aid.

Both U.S. parties traded jabs on who was to blame for blocking relief to tens of millions of Americans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 256.2 points, or 0.93%, to 27,943.11, the S&P 500 gained 48.09 points, or 1.44%, to 3,381.78 and the Nasdaq Composite added 237.14 points, or 2.2%, to 11,019.96.

The S&P is just below its intraday record high of 3,393.52. The index slipped on Tuesday after seven straight days of gains.

“We’re seeing buyers show up very quickly, any chance they get when the market declines. To me, that’s a very bullish sign,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments in New York.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.11% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.26%.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.26%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.34% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.41%.

The U.S. election campaigns are set to gather momentum after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden selected Senator Kamala Harris as his vice president on Tuesday.

GOOD AS GOLD

Bond markets were also driving sentiment. The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield last fell 5/32 in price to yield 0.6747%, from 0.658% late on Tuesday, ahead of a record offering on benchmark notes by the Treasury.

Oil prices also climbed after government data showed U.S. oil inventories fell across the board, bolstering hopes for increased fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy.

U.S. crude recently rose 1.44% to $42.21 per barrel and Brent was at $45.12, up 1.39% on the day.

The dollar index fell 0.366%, with the euro up 0.48% to $1.1795.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.34% versus the greenback to 106.84 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.305, up 0.02% on the day.

Gold swung from being down 2.5% to adding 1.8% to $1,945.58 an ounce, a day after it suffered its biggest daily fall in seven years. Silver was even more wild, rising as much as 6% after a 15% plunge on Tuesday. [GOL/R]

Bullion has gained 28% so far this year, as investors buy it as a hedge against fears of currency debasement as central banks flood economies with free money in response to the global coronavirus crisis.

Graphic: 2020 asset performance here

Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 here

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