U.S. stocks, oil gain after German confidence data; Euro climbs

U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its biggest weekly rally since June, the euro strengthened and oil climbed as German business confidence unexpectedly rose and the American holiday shopping season got under way.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.8 percent to 1,402.74 as of 10:45 a.m. in New York after being closed yesterday for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.5 percent. The euro advanced 0.6 percent to $1.2963, reaching the highest level since Nov. 1. Oil gained 1 percent to $88.29 a barrel in New York. The Taiex index jumped 3.1 percent after the Central News Agency cited Taiwan’s finance minister as saying state-controlled funds should buy stocks.

The Munich-based Ifo institute said its business climate index climbed to 101.4 this month, compared with an estimated reading of 99.5 based on the median of 48 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. Stocks have rallied this week as data from the U.S. and China added to signs the world’s two largest economies are recovering. Euro-area finance ministers will meet Nov. 26 to discuss aid to Greece after leaders failed to agree the bloc’s next seven-year budget at a summit in Brussels.

The improvement in the Ifo data “is quite a positive sign,” Evelyn Herrmann, European economist at BNP Paribas SA in London, wrote in a e-mailed note. “Better-than-expected surveys from China and the U.S. might have convinced German industrials that they will sooner or later benefit from the manufacturing sector recovery outside the eurozone, thereby at least offsetting the drag that they have from continued contraction” in the euro area, Herrmann said.

Black Friday

Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, surged 13 percent in U.S. trading after jumping 18 percent in Toronto yesterday, when the American market was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. Best Buy Co. increased 1.6 percent. Today is Black Friday, traditionally the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the U.S., when retailers lure customers with deep discounts.

The euro gained against 11 of its 16 main counterparts. Europe’s shared currency may climb to its September high against the dollar of $1.3172 should it rise above the Oct. 31 high of $1.3021, analysts at Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen in Frankfurt including Ralf Umlauf wrote in a note to clients.

Greek 10-year bonds fell for the first time in 11 days, pushing the yield nine basis points higher to 16.48 percent. The 10-year Treasury yield was little changed at 1.68 percent.

Subdued Activity

“Overall market activity is subdued following the holiday in the U.S. and as investors wait for a solution to Greece’s debt problem,” Monthol Junchaya, chief investment officer at Bangkok-based One Asset Management Ltd., which manages about $2.3 billion of assets, said by phone today.

The S&P 500 has rallied for a fifth day in the longest winning streak since August amid better-than-forecast housing data and as President Barack Obama expressed confidence on a budget agreement with Congress. Obama met with senior Democrats and Republicans on Nov. 16 for talks to avoid $607 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that, if allowed to come into force, might push the country into a recession next year. Congress is in recess for Thanksgiving until Nov. 26.

Gold futures for December delivery rose 1 percent to $1,748.01 an ounce.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 0.9 percent, advancing for a fifth day. The trading volume on Taiwan’s benchmark equity gauge was 73 percent higher than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 percent, Russia’s Micex Index advanced 0.4 percent and Brazil’s Bovespa gauge climbed 0.5 percent.

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