Stocks and oil touch 2019 highs; sterling wobbles, like Brexit
(Updates after U.S. stock market close)
* World share markets up for 7th session, hit highest since
* Oil hits 2019 high, palladium at record high
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - Stocks across the globe rose
for a seventh straight session on Tuesday despite late selling
on Wall Street, while the pound wobbled against the dollar as
traders expected European Union officials would allow Britain a
delay on Brexit.
Bets that the Federal Reserve will this week reinforce the
market view that the U.S. monetary policy tightening cycle is in
the rear-view mirror have kept alive the bid on stocks, while
the dollar index touched its lowest since March 1.
But trade news weighed on sentiment late in the New York
trading session after Bloomberg News reported that some
negotiators are worried that China is pushing back against U.S.
"Trade fear has reared its head again with Trump
administration concerns (that) China is walking back some of the
pledges they've made in negotiations so far," said Chris
Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Alliance in Charlotte.
Investor focus will remain on the Fed on Wednesday,
particularly on whether policymakers have sufficiently lowered
their interest rate forecasts to align more closely their "dot
plot," which shows individual policymakers' rate views for the
next three years, with market expectations.
The CitiFX U.S. economic surprise index, which measures
economic data against expectations, has been negative for over a
month and earlier in March touched its lowest since August 2017.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26.72 points,
or 0.1 percent, to 25,887.38, the S&P 500 lost 0.37
points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,832.57 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 9.47 points, or 0.12 percent, to 7,723.95.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.57 percent
and emerging market stocks added 0.16 percent.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe
gained 0.16 percent.
In currency markets, sterling touched $1.3311 after slipping
to as low as $1.3241 as traders expected EU officials
to give Britain a delay on Brexit negotiations, though the
uncertainty kept the market volatile. Sterling was last trading
at $1.3264, up 0.07 percent on the day.
"The predominant notion adopted by the market is that as
long as the worst-case scenario of hard Brexit is avoided by
delaying Brexit, the pound is a buy on dips," Rabobank
strategists said in a note.
The dollar index fell 0.12 percent, with the euro
up 0.11 percent to $1.1349.
"What we are seeing is the market positioning for
potentially a more dovish tone tomorrow," said Minh Trang,
senior currency trader at California's Silicon Valley Bank,
speaking about expectations of what the Fed's statement will be
like on Wednesday.
The Japanese yen was flat versus the greenback at
111.43 per dollar.
Among commodities, oil prices were little changed after
hitting 2019 highs, maintaining recent strength on the back of
expectations for producer club OPEC to continue production cuts.
U.S. sanctions against producers Iran and Venezuela have also
supported prices, although traders said the market may be capped
by rising U.S. output.
U.S. crude fell 0.07 percent to $59.05 per barrel and
Brent was last at $67.67, up 0.19 percent on the day.
"OPEC and non-OPEC producers are determined to get the
supply and demand dynamics better into balance, recognizing that
U.S. shale production is going to continue to rise," said Andy
Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
Precious metal palladium, used in things like car catalytic
converters, dipped after it topped the $1,600 an ounce mark for
the first time on supply concerns.
Palladium last rose 0.76 percent to $1,595.50 an
ounce. Prices have nearly doubled since their mid-August lows
and have surged more than 25 percent this year.
Spot gold added 0.2 percent to $1,306.31 an ounce.
U.S. gold futures gained 0.37 percent to $1,306.30 an
Copper rose 0.53 percent to $6,459.00 a tonne.
U.S. Treasury yields zigzagged ahead of the Fed's Wednesday
statement. Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in
price to yield 2.614 percent, from 2.601 percent late on Monday.
The 30-year bond last fell 9/32 in price to
yield 3.0238 percent, from 3.01 percent late on Monday.
(Additional reporting by Laila Kearney, Sinead Carew, Kate
Duguid and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in New York and Medha Singh in
Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler and James Dalgleish)
First Published: 2019-03-19 02:41:54
Updated 2019-03-19 23:09:29
© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.