* U.S. stocks close higher, boosting global shares
* European equities close lower
* Euro and sterling gain while dollar drops
(Updates to U.S. market close; adds commentary)
By Stephanie Kelly
NEW YORK, Jan 2 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq
Composite notched record closing highs on Tuesday, the first
trading day of 2018, while European equities finished lower and
the U.S. dollar fell to its weakest level in over three months
against key currencies.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe
gained 0.74 percent. In 2017 the index set scores of record
highs and rose by one-fifth in value.
Major stock indexes closed 2017 with their best performance
since 2013. In the U.S. market, the advance came amid strong
economic growth and corporate earnings, low interest rates and
hopes, now realized, of U.S. corporate tax cuts.
U.S. equity indexes closed higher on Tuesday, buoyed by
gains in technology and consumer discretionary stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104.79 points,
or 0.42 percent, to 24,824.01, the S&P 500 gained 22.18
points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,695.79, and the Nasdaq Composite
added 103.51 points, or 1.5 percent, to 7,006.90.
"We're off to the races once again," said Stephen Massocca,
senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.
"I don't expect the kind of moves we saw last year," he
said. "But as long as monetary policy stays the way it is ... my
view is stocks are going to have a decent year. And fiscal
policy has become stimulative as well given the tax bill."
In Europe, equities closed lower, weighed by a decline in
autos stocks following weaker car registrations data. Trading
was also cautious ahead of the launch of a major reform of
European financial markets.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.21 percent,
and euro zone stocks shed 0.19 percent.
Shares rose in Asia. Shanghai blue chips climbed
1.41 percent and MSCI's 24-country emerging market stock index
jumped to a multi-year high after the Caixin index of
Chinese industry rose to a four-month high of 51.5 in December,
confounding forecasts for a decline. The 50-mark divides
expansion from contraction.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of major currencies, fell 0.29 percent, hampered by
expectations of a slower pace of interest rate increases by the
Federal Reserve amid a tepid U.S. inflation picture.
The dollar hit a three-month low on Friday, bringing
its losses for 2017 to 9.8 percent, its worst performance since
Other currencies gained. The euro rose 0.39 percent
to $1.2055 and hit a four-month high on Tuesday after data
showed that euro zone manufacturers ramped up activity last
month at the fastest pace in more than two decades.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.32 percent at 112.29 per
dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.3594, up
U.S. Treasury yields rose in line with European government
yields. A European Central Bank official said the ECB's massive
bond purchase program might not continue later this year.
A reversal of year-end buying has also driven U.S. Treasury
yields higher, said Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed
income strategy for Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St.
"Lots of institutions buy Treasuries to hold over year-end
for liquidity. To see that reversal early in the year is not a
surprise," Rehling said.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes last fell 14/32 in
price to yield 2.4597 percent, from 2.411 percent late on
The 30-year bond last fell 43/32 in price to
yield 2.8073 percent, from 2.741 percent late on Friday.
Oil prices earlier enjoyed their strongest start to a year
since 2014 but fell lower as major pipelines in Libya and
Britain's North Sea restarted and U.S. production soared to the
highest level in more than four decades.
U.S. crude last fell 0.1 percent to $60.36 per
barrel and Brent was at $66.53, down 0.51 percent.
Copper lost 0.42 percent to $7,216.50 a tonne,
following a rise of 31 percent in 2017 to a four-year top.
Spot gold added 1.2 percent to $1,317.69 an ounce,
after advancing by 13 percent in 2017 for its best performance
in seven years.
(Additional reporting by Marc Jones, Dmitry Zhdannikov and
Helen Reid in London, Henning Gloystein in Singapore, Sruthi
Shankar in Bengaluru, and Caroline Valetkevitch, Richard Leong,
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski
and Leslie Adler)
First Published: 2018-01-02 02:29:29
Updated 2018-01-02 23:47:36
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