U.S. stocks rise as oil, bond prices fall on ebbing Syria fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street rose while oil and government bond prices fell on Monday on the view that this weekend’s U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria were unlikely to mark the start of a broader conflict.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Saturday’s strikes marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia, which is facing further economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.

“There is a feeling (in the market) that there will be no follow-up action,” Rabobank fixed income analyst Lyn Graham-Taylor said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 190.35 points, or 0.78 percent, to 24,550.49, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 16.89 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,673.19 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 29.31 points, or 0.41 percent, to 7,135.96.

“The action was well-received … and that’s giving a chance for investors to focus on macro news and earnings,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Healthcare shares .SPXHC also rose after positive updates on a cancer drug from Merck (MRK.N).

Hopes that the strike against Syria would not escalate further also spurred investors to shed the U.S. dollar.

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.3 percent, with the euro EUR= up 0.28 percent to $1.2364.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

European shares eased, however, adding to a mixed picture from Asian stock markets and suggesting that a degree of caution prevails.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 lost 0.41 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.5 percent lower, as Chinese blue-chips .CSI300 skidded 1.6 percent.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.30 percent.

European and U.S. government bond yields, which move inversely to prices, rose across the board. That was partly as attention turned to what is expected to be a robust first-quarter U.S. corporate earnings season, which begins in earnest this week.

The yields on German and U.S. government bonds, among the most liquid and safe assets in the world, were at their highest levels in nearly two weeks and four weeks, respectively.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.8469 percent, from 2.828 percent late on Friday.

The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last fell 7/32 in price to yield 3.0463 percent, from 3.036 percent.

Some other traditional safe-haven bets held firmer, with gold XAU= and Japan’s yen JPY= edging higher.

Dealers were keeping a wary eye on Japanese politics after a survey showed support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had fallen to 26.7 percent, the lowest since he took office in late 2012.

Even so, Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 0.26 percent.

Oil prices, meanwhile, recouped some losses after falling sharply. Brent crude LCOcv1 was last at $71.78, down 1.1 percent on the day, with a rise in U.S. drilling for new production also dragging on prices.

U.S. crude CLcv1 fell 1.34 percent to $66.49 per barrel.

(For a graphic on ‘Global assets in 2018’ click tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl)

(For a graphic on ‘Emerging markets in 2018’ click tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV)

(For a graphic on ‘World FX rates in 2018’ click tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)

(For a graphic on ‘MSCI All Country World Index Market Cap’ click tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j)

(For a graphic on ‘Euro zone periphery govt bond yields’ click tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr)

Additional reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan, Jan Harvey and Amanda Cooper in London, Richard Leong and Kate Duguid in New York, Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski



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