World stocks rise; dollar dips on U.S. labor data, yuan surge

Thu Jan 5, 2017 4:43pm EST
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By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity prices shrugged off weakness on Wall Street to cling to gains after hitting their highest level since mid-2015 on Thursday, bolstered by strong Chinese data that added to optimism about global growth and inflation.

The dollar slipped against a basket of major currencies after U.S. inflation and unemployment data failed to reverse a downtrend that followed some of the biggest gains on record for China's yuan. U.S. Treasury debt yields slipped as investors grew risk-averse amid uncertainty about the incoming Trump administration.

MSCI's world index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 46 countries, rose 0.55 percent for a third straight day of gains.

The index has been riding a wave of upbeat factory and service sector surveys out of the United States, Europe and Asia this week.

Growth in China's services sector accelerated to a 17-month high in December, a private sector survey showed.

The index, however, got little support from Wall Street as the S&P 500 closed slightly lower, weighed by financial shares and as investors dumped traditional retailers Macy's (M.N: Quote) and Kohl's (KSS.N: Quote) on dismal holiday sales numbers.

Amazon (AMZN.O: Quote) powered the Nasdaq Composite to a record closing high.

The S&P 500 financial index .SPSY fell 1.02 percent due to declines in JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote), Wells Fargo (WFC.N: Quote) and Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote).   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson