Stocks climb as concerns ease over North Korea, Irma

Stocks climb as concerns ease over North Korea, Irma”

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was steady at 91.874, after it skidded to a 2-1/2-year low of 91.011 on Friday.

"But the market is still sensitive to risk-off news, maybe from North Korea, or from disappointing US economic data", he said. "The only problem with this is that, with the United Nations having just agreed on new sanctions against North Korea - spearheaded by the USA - I wonder how long we will have to wait for an act of provocation in response". The S&P 500 gained 6.22 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,494.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.32 points, or 0.16 percent, to 6,442.58.

MSCI's all country world stock index, which tracks more than 2,400 stocks in 47 countries, hit its latest peak as Europe's insurers rose more than 2 percent on hopes Irma's damage would not prove as costly as feared.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 259.58 points, or 1.19 percent, to 22,057.37. The Nasdaq composite jumped 72.07 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,432.26, three points below the record closing high it set September 1.

USA inflation data due on Thursday is unlikely to show a significant pick-up in price pressures, with the August reading forecast at 1.6 percent on an annual basis versus 1.7 percent in July.

Ranked as one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic, Irma hit a wide swath of Florida on Sunday.

Irma, which has toppled cranes, swallowed streets and left millions without power, was starting to weaken on Monday while still pummelling parts of Florida on its destructive march north.

HCI Group jumped $5.38, or 17.5 percent, to $36.15 while Heritage Insurance gained $2.02, or 21.6 percent, to $11.39. XL Group advanced $1.92, or 5 percent, to $40.53 and Travelers gained $3.25, or 2.7 percent, to $123.01. Travel booking site Priceline rose $22.93, or 1.2 percent, to $1,861.50.

The dollar held steady on Tuesday, a day after investors trimmed short bets against it on a bounce in USA bond yields to generate its second biggest daily gain against the yen this year. Home Depot dropped $1.29 to $158.37 and Lowe's declined $1.06, or 1.3 percent, to $77.50.

Asian stock markets pushed higher in relief, with Tokyo gaining 1.4 percent.

- Gold sank 1.1 percent to settle at $1,335.70 an ounce for the biggest tumble in two months. Those companies tend to do better when bond yields are falling, as investors see them as an alternative to bonds due to their large dividend payments. The VIX "fear gauge" saw its biggest decline in nearly three weeks as financial and technology shares led gains. Microsoft added 71 cents, or 1 percent, to $74.69 and Mastercard rose $4.15, or 3 percent, to $141.37.

The common currency reached $1.2092 on Friday, its highest since January 2015, as the dollar suffered a broad retreat.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX gained 1.4 percent and the French CAC 40 rose 1.2 percent.

- The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.7 percent to the highest in three years. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index in Japan jumped 1.4 percent as the yen slipped, which eased pressure on exporters. South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 69 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $48.17 a barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 5 cents to $53.83 a barrel in London.

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