World stocks mostly rise as oil gains494 views
NEW YORK (AFP) – Global stock markets mostly gained Tuesday, with petroleum-linked shares leading the way as the US benchmark oil contract closed above $50 a barrel for the first time since July.
Shares of petroleum producers such as France s Total, Japan s Inpex and US giant ExxonMobil were among the top gainers in major markets as supply disruptions in Nigeria propelled the oil market to fresh multi-month highs.
“Oil is definitely part of it,” said FTN Financial chief economist Chris Low, adding that the market was also boosted by remarks Monday from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen emphasizing that interest rate increases would be gradual after Friday s very weak jobs report.
“Following the fresh comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Fed Funds Futures are now showing a nearly zero percent probability for a rate hike in June,” said David Song, currency analyst at DailyFX.
The dollar dipped against most major currencies, including the yen, the euro and the British pound.
Equity markets in Paris and Frankfurt were particularly strong, advancing 1.2 percent and 1.7 percent respectively after official eurozone data put first-quarter growth at 0.6 percent, up from the prior 0.5 percent.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 finished in narrowly positive territory on the strength of oil prices.
But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 0.1 percent after two biotech companies, Biogen and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, reported disappointing clinical results on treatments to address multiple sclerosis and a neuromuscular disease called MG, respectively.
Biogen slumped 12.8 percent and Alexion 10.9 percent, while a third pharma stock, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, sank 14.6 percent after projecting full-year earnings well below analyst expectations.
Royal Dutch Shell closed more than three percent higher in London after the energy giant forecast bigger-than-expected savings following a recent takeover of smaller rival BG Group.
Ralph Lauren shed 2.4 percent as it announced sweeping restructuring plans aimed at generating annual cost savings of $180-$220 million from store closures and other measures. It projected lower net sales for fiscal 2017 due to these steps.