US stocks shake gloom as oil tops $50/barrel

 

Wall Street stocks rallied Thursday, shrugging off uncertainty over President Donald Trump's agenda and advancing as US fourth-quarter growth was upgraded and oil prices rose above $50 a barrel.

Stocks were mixed elsewhere, with markets in Frankfurt and Paris rising, Tokyo falling and London flat.

US investors took heart after the US Commerce Department revised GDP growth up by 0.2 points to 2.1 percent for the final three months of last year, due in part to more robust personal consumption spending.

Analysts also cited gains in the oil market, which closed above $50 in the US for the first time in more than three weeks after Kuwait's oil minister endorsed OPEC output curbs.

Major US indices climbed 0.3 percent, with banking shares doing especially well. Still, analysts continued to recalibrate expectations for US policy changes after Trump's health care plan died in Congress last week.

"Over the last three or four weeks it has become apparent to many market participants that the new administration's proposals would take some time to implement -- that is if any of them ever get implemented at all," Wells Fargo (Swiss: WFC-USD.SW - news) global equity strategist Scott Wren said in a note.

"Investors are taking more of a wait-and-see approach and not jumping in with both feet at this point," Wren added. "That likely is a wise decision considering the legislative uncertainty that lies ahead."

Earlier in Asia, stock prices fell as Chinese authorities tightened liquidity in the financial system of the world's second-largest economy.

Shanghai ended down 1.0 percent, while the Nikkei in Japan lost 0.8 percent, despite a rally in Toshiba (Swiss: TOSH.SW - news) shares after the embattled conglomerate won shareholder support for a motion to spin-off its prized memory chip business.

The approval came after it announced its loss-hit US nuclear (Other OTC: UCLE - news) unit Westinghouse Electric Company has filed for bankruptcy protection. Toshiba gained 4.0 percent.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP - news) jumped 8.8 percent after announcing a deal to sell 50 percent of the Foster Creek Christina Lake oil sands project, as well as some Canadian natural gas assets, to Cenovus for $13.3 billion.

Cenovus slumped 13.7 percent as the DBRS rating agency placed the company under review for a possible credit rating downgrade.

- Key figures at 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 20,728.49 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 2,368.06 (close)

New York - Nasdaq (Frankfurt: 813516 - news) : UP 0.3 percent at 5,914.34 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,369.52 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 percent at 12,256.43 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 5,089.64 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,481.58 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 19,063.22 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 24,301.09 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.0 percent at 3,210.24 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0679 from $1.0767

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2467 from $1.2440

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.86 yen from 111.04

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 54 cents at $52.96 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 84 cents at $50.35 per barrel

burs-jmb/hs

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes