Economy

United States stocks climb to record as Irma threat recedes

United States stocks climb to record as Irma threat recedes”

It had slumped to a 10-month low of 107.320 yen on Friday, when Hurricane Irma threatened Florida and as financial markets braced for the possibility of another missile or nuclear test to mark North Korea's founding day on September 9.

Apple (AAPL.O) rose 1.81 percent a day ahead of the expected launch of a new iPhone, providing the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and S&P 500.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 164 points, or 0.8%, to 21,965, its biggest one-day percentage rise since August 22.

- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose eight basis points to 2.13 percent, the highest in a week.

The greenback had come in for a pounding in recent weeks on waning expectations for further Federal Reserve interest rate rises and doubts about US President Donald Trump's chances of pushing through his market-friendly economic policies. The S&P 500 added 15 points to 2,477, a gain of 0.6%.

THE QUOTE: "This morning's announcement that the United Nations has agreed on more economic sanctions against North Korea has not phased markets", said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst for CMC Markets in Sydney. "Millions of homes lost power but not as many as had been widely thought and while damages are likely to run into the billions, they are not likely to run anywhere near the more extreme pre-storm estimates".

USA stocks booked losses last week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wall-street-stocks-set-for-losses-as-life-threatening-irma-aims-for-florida-2017-09-08) as investors fretted that Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday, would cause massive devastation.

With investors less anxious about Irma's impact, insurers Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE.N) and HCI Group (HCI.N) surged more than 12 percent, while Heritage Insurance (HRTG.N) soared 21 percent. Larger insurers also rallied. Meanwhile, North Korea celebrated its 69th anniversary without testing any missiles or nuclear bombs alleviating concern it would use the occasion to flaunt its fire power.

The dollar edged higher on Monday, after posting its biggest weekly drop in two months, as a revival in interest in riskier assets prompted some investors to cut short bets against the greenback before US inflation data this week.

Bond prices sank. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.12 from 2.05 percent.

In commodity markets, gold softened 0.7 percent to $1,337.81 an ounce, away from a one-year peak of $1,357.54. The VIX "fear gauge" saw its biggest decline in nearly three weeks as financial and technology shares led gains.

France's CAC 40 edged up 0.3 percent to 5,191.40 in early trading, while Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent to 12,521.93. The People's Bank of China said it would remove a 20 percent foreign exchange margin for financial institutions buying U.S. dollars, a move that may signal discomfort with the strong Chinese currency against the greenback which hurts exporters.

The ICE Dollar Index rose 0.2% to 91.47, led by gains for the greenback against the yen, which rose to Yen108.55 from Yen107.84 late Friday. It added 0.5 percent against its perceived safe-haven Japanese counterpart the yen and clawed back ground against the high-flying euro as an European Central Bank policymaker flagged caution about the single currency's recent rise.

The euro on Friday reached $1.2092, the highest level since January 2015 as traders bet on the European Central Bank winding in its huge stimulus programme. South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.7 percent to 2,359.08, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1 percent to 27,955.49, and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China rose 0.3 percent to 3,376.42.



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