Global shares hit 2016 high, U.S. dollar holds recent gains
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks across the globe rose to their highest levels since late December on Thursday and the U.S. dollar gained for a third day running as investors embraced risk ahead of top policymaker and oil producer meetings.
Wall Street stock indexes were little changed a day after the S&P 500 closed at its highest since early December. European shares .FTEU3 added to substantial gains made on Wednesday and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS ended at its highest level of the year.
"The (U.S. stock) market has rebounded nicely, but it's running into resistance," said Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Investments in Atlanta.
"The market wants to see a more positive outlook for earnings growth going forward."
First-quarter earnings among S&P 500 companies are forecast to have fallen by 7.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, but the diminished expectations could be setting the stage for positive surprises that support stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 18.15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,926.43, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.36 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,082.78 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 1.53 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,945.89.
Oil prices were choppy and ended lower after a mixed report from the International Energy Agency and skepticism that an upcoming meeting of major producers would do much to tighten the balance of supply and demand.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 0.7 percent to $43.86 per barrel and U.S. crude CLc1 fell 0.7 percent to $41.45. Continued...