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Growth Outlook Boosts Europe Stocks; Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap

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European stocks advanced amid growing optimism over the region’s economy. The dollar and Treasuries were largely steady as investors tread water before the release of the latest Federal Reserve minutes.

Markets are settling down after a tumultuous few days spurred by heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Miners, construction companies and car makers led the way as every sector of the Stoxx Europe 600 advanced. Crude gained for the first time in three days after industry data was said to show U.S. inventories tumbled 9.2 million barrels last week.

Stephen Gallo, head of European FX strategy at BMO Capital Markets, discusses the weakness in the U.S. dollar.

Daybreak: Europe. (Source: Bloomberg)

The latest European data showed Italy’s economy expanding for a tenth straight quarter, while growth in the Netherlands beat economists’ estimates. Eastern European economies including Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland also exceeded expectations, confirming that a broad-based recovery is taking hold.

Meanwhile, data on Tuesday showed that American consumers splurged in July, bolstering prospects growth will accelerate in the second half in the latest clue on the strength of the world’s largest economy. Minutes from the Fed meeting will be parsed closely; policy makers have indicated they may announce plans to reduce the central bank’s balance sheet in September and then potentially raise interest rates again this year.

In other economic news, Australian wage growth matched estimates in the second quarter, rising 0.5 percent from the previous three-month period and 1.9 percent from a year earlier.

Terminal subscribers can read more on our Markets Live blog.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7 percent as of 9:44 a.m. in London, the highest in a week. 
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index increased 0.2 percent. 
  • The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.6 percent. 
  • Germany’s DAX Index jumped 0.8 percent to the highest in more than a week. 
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.2 percent.

Currencies

  • The euro dipped less than 0.05 percent to $1.1733, the weakest in almost three weeks on a closing basis. 
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index increased less than 0.05 percent to the highest in four weeks.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed one basis point to 2.28 percent, the highest in more than two weeks. 
  • Germany’s 10-year yield increased two basis points to 0.45 percent, the highest in more than a week. 
  • Britain’s 10-year yield gained two basis points to 1.106 percent, the highest in a week.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.6 percent to $47.82 a barrel, the biggest advance in a week. 
  • Gold decreased less than 0.05 percent to $1,271.05 an ounce, the weakest in more than a week.

Asia

  • Japan’s Topix index closed little changed. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.6 percent, reopening after a holiday. The Hang Seng Index added 0.8 percent in Hong Kong, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.5 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index was Asia’s worst performer on Wednesday, falling as much as 1.1 percent, as banks and interest-rate sensitive stocks dropped.
  • The Japanese yen declined 0.2 percent to 110.89 per dollar, the weakest in almost three weeks.

— With assistance by Adam Haigh

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