US, European markets boosted by higher oil, consumer data

 

Global stocks mostly bounced back Tuesday as higher oil prices and solid US economic data overshadowed concerns about political uncertainty in the United States and Europe.

Most major markets engineered solid gains, with Tokyo and Frankfurt each rising more than one percent, and the Dow in the US ending an eight-day losing streak with a 0.7 percent gain.

Analysts said investors in Europe and the United States were heartened by record US consumer confidence in March that reached its highest level in nearly 16 years, while oil prices climbed due to an outage in Libya that helped ease worries about a supply glut

"Consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably," said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's director of economic indicators.

"Consumers also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects," she said in a statement.

Analysts also cited a boost from President Donald Trump's pivot towards tax cut legislation after last week's health care reform proposal died.

"The agenda narrative from the administration has shifted," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

Worries about the Trump agenda have pressured stocks since attention in Washington turned to health care reform, an endeavor that ultimately concluded with the new US president's surprise failure to win support for his bill.

European markets meanwhile worry about the fallout from London launching Britain's exit from the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday is set to formally notify the European Union of Britain's intention to leave the bloc in a process that has caused a steep plunge in the value of the pound against the euro and dollar.

"Whether the momentum (in markets) can be maintained remains to be seen, however as investors remain cautious ahead of the UK government's likely triggering of Article 50 tomorrow," said Andy McLevey, head of dealing at stockbroker Interactive Investor.

- Key figures around 2030 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 20,701.50 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.7 percent at 2,358.57 (close)

New York - Nasdaq (Frankfurt: 813516 - news) : UP 0.6 percent at 5,875.14 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,343.42 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.3 percent at 12,149.42 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 5,046.20 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.8 percent at 3,464.85

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.1 percent at 19,202.87 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 24,345.87 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,252.95 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0813 from $1.0865

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2457 from $1.2562

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.08 yen from 110.65 yen

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 58 cents at $51.33 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 64 cents at $48.37 per barrel

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