Global stocks gain as oil rises; euro up vs Swiss franc

Thu Feb 5, 2015 4:46pm EST
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By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets around the world mostly rose on Thursday as crude oil rebounded, although caution remained following the European Central Bank's surprise decision to strike Greek bonds off its list of accepted collateral.

Greek banking shares fell sharply on the day, which in turn limited the advance of broader European equities. In a sign the region remains unstable, Greece's new leftist finance minister clashed openly with his powerful German counterpart. Greece's short-term debt yields GR0029312=TWEB surged.

The ECB's actions, which were announced on Wednesday, mean the Greek central bank will have to provide its banks with tens of billions of euros of additional emergency liquidity in the coming weeks.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' 10-day-old government has said it would not extend a bailout program, which is due to expire at the end of this month. It has also refused to cooperate with the so-called troika of international lenders.

"We're paying quite a bit of attention to the Greece situation, where there's so much political and financial unrest. Investors are really looking for peace of mind, and it is difficult to get that," said Josh van Dress, chief investment officer of Able Capital Management in New York.

The euro EUR= rose 1.2 percent against the U.S. dollar, helped by the strongest rise in German industrial orders since early 2008. The common currency also hit its highest against the Swiss franc EURCHF=EBS since Jan. 15, when the Swiss central bank stunned markets by scrapping the three-year-old cap on its currency. The U.S. dollar index .DXY, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, fell 0.5 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst .FTEU3 share index ended flat on the day, while the MSCI International ACWI Price Index .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.7 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 211.86 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,884.88, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 21.01 points, or 1.03 percent, to 2,062.52 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 48.39 points, or 1.03 percent, to 4,765.10.   Continued...

An employee shows fifty-euro notes in a bank in Sarajevo in this March 19, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic