Stocks jump as expectations ease of U.S. rate hike; oil gains

Stocks jump as expectations ease of U.S. rate hike; oil gains

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – World stocks jumped on Monday on expectations that U.S. interest rates aren’t likely to rise soon, while oil prices surged after Russia said it was ready to meet with other producers to discuss the market.

Oil prices jumped along with copper and gold, lifting U.S. materials and energy shares.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, advanced after sliding to 95.218 on Friday. It was last up 0.1 percent at 95.89, with gains limited as traders bet the Federal Reserve may delay raising interest rates until early 2016. A disappointing jobs report on Friday fueled doubts over whether the world’s largest economy was strong enough to withstand an interest rate rise before the end of the year, and suggested that the cheap funds that have lifted financial assets across the globe would be around for a while. “The U.S. jobs data was a disappointment and postpones expectations of a lift-off by the end of this year which is not dollar positive,” said Yujiro Goto, currency strategist at Nomura. Just 142,000 more U.S. jobs were created last month, against a forecast of 203,000, and hourly wage growth fell, the report showed on Friday. Before Friday’s data, the Fed had been widely expected to raise U.S. interest rates by year-end. It decided not to change its policy path in September because of anxiety over slowing growth in the world No. 2 economy, China, and the potential impact of that on global markets.
On Wall Street, stocks extended gains from Friday, with the S&P materials index up 1.7 percent and among the top performers in the S&P 500 sectors. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 155.27 points, or 0.94 percent, to 16,627.64, the S&P 500 gained 20.08 points, or 1.03 percent, to 1,971.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 42.51 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,750.29. European stocks surged, with the FTSEuroFirst 300 index in Europe up nearly 3 percent. MSCI’s all-country world index was up 1.5 percent. Japan’s Nikkei ended the day up 1.6 percent, while Chinese markets were closed for a holiday. Analysts said the Bank of Japan could ease policy as soon as this week, though action at its Oct. 30 meeting may be more likely. In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries prices trimmed losses as a steeper-than-forecast drop in a private index on U.S. services sector activity in September revived bets a Fed rate hike will be unlikely in the near term. The Institute for Supply Management said its gauge on U.S. services industries fell to its lowest level since June. Benchmark 10-year Treasuries notes fell 8/32 in price for a yield of 2.017 percent, up 3 basis points from late Friday. The 10-year yield touched 1.904 percent on Friday, its lowest level since late April, according to Reuters data. Oil prices climbed after the news on Russia, with Brent rising 2.7 percent to a high of $49.43 a barrel before easing back to around $49.33, up $1.20. U.S. crude was $1.10 higher at $46.64 a barrel. Russia, one of the world’s top three oil producers, said it was prepared to meet OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to discuss the market if such a meeting is called. Moscow had been unwilling in the past to cut its oil output to support prices. Gold edged higher as the dollar weakened after the weak U.S. jobs report delayed expectations of a rate rise in the near term. Spot gold, was up 0.2 percent at $1,139.81 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson in London; Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo, Meeyoung Cho in Seoul, Marius Zaharia and Anirban Nag in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum)