Stocks make strong start to second half; dollar flat

Tue Jul 1, 2014 4:30pm EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets around the world rose at the start of the second half of 2014 on Tuesday, propelled by solid U.S. and Chinese data and the notion that central banks will keep interest rates low for some time.

Encouraging U.S. and Chinese factory figures pointed to stabilization in the world's two biggest economies, while weaker data on euro zone manufacturing and inflation supported the view the European Central Bank might lower interest rates to help the region's businesses and avert deflation.

"The latest data from China suggests that the main economic and oil demand growth engine of the world may be starting to turn the corner toward the upside," said Dominick Chirichella, founding partner of the Energy Management Institute in New York.

There was relief among euro zone banks after France's largest, BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: Quote), on Monday pleaded guilty and agreed to pay almost $9 billion for violating U.S. sanctions against Sudan and other countries.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 116.37 points or 0.69 percent, to 16,942.97, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 10.16 points or 0.52 percent, to 1,970.39 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 40.801 points or 0.93 percent, to 4,448.979.

The S&P hit an intraday record high at 1,971.24.

Top European shares .FTEU3 were up 0.6 percent, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 closed up 1.1 percent. [.EU] [.T]

The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, rose 2.03 points or 0.47 percent, to 430.78.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid