S&P 500 rises above record close as metals gain, dollar weakens

Fed Minutes

Minutes of the Fed’s June meeting, which took place before a jobs report that beat estimates, showed about half of the 19 participants in the Federal Open Market Committee wanted to halt the central bank’s bond-buying program by year end.

The minutes also showed many wanted to see more signs that employment is improving before backing a reduction in the pace of asset purchases. Data last week showed U.S. employers added 195,000 jobs last month, beating the increase of 165,000 predicted by economists.

More than three stocks climbed for every one that dropped in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which advanced 0.6%. A gauge of mining companies rallied 3.9%, its biggest gain in more than six months. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group, the world’s two largest commodity producers, rose more than 4% each.

Associated British Foods Plc jumped 4.1% after reporting that sales grew 20% at its Primark clothing business in the 16 weeks to June 22.

Portugal Banks

Portugal’s Banco Comercial Portugues SA and Banco BPI SA lost more than 4% in Lisbon. Portugal’s president used a televised speech last night to call for the end of the country’s bailout program in June 2014 to coincide with the start of the process leading to new elections. Yields on the nation’s 10-year bonds rose 12 basis points to 6.89%.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 2.8%, the most since Sept. 14 on a closing basis. China’s stocks advanced the most since Dec. 14 as lenders rallied on speculation the government will take measures to bolster economic growth.

Ping An Bank Co. and China Minsheng Banking Corp. jumped more than 9%, helping the Shanghai Composite Index rise 3.2%.

The cost of insuring against losses on corporate bonds dropped, with the Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps on 125 investment-grade companies falling four basis points to 105.5, the lowest since June 7.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the Markit iTraxx Asia Index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan declined 11.9 basis points to 149.4, the lowest since June 27.

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