Stocks Gain on Growth Outlook — U.S. stocks rose after data underscored the resilience of the American and Chinese economies and concern over North Korea shifted to the background. The dollar slumped after Steven Mnuchin said a weaker currency is “somewhat better” for trade.
The S&P 500 Index erased a monthly loss with its fifth straight advance. Miners led gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index after a rise in Chinese manufacturing buoyed industrial metals. Emerging-market stocks a eighth monthly gain to end at the highest since 2014. The dollar also turned lower on weak inflation data, while 10-year Treasury yields slipped to 2.12 percent. Oil rose and gasoline climbed for an eighth day amid the impact of Harvey.
Data Thursday showed China’s official factory gauge strengthened further in August, defying economists’ expectations, after reports Wednesday revealed U.S. second-quarter growth reached the fastest pace in two years and hiring was robust in August. Consumer spending increased by less than estimated in July, though rising incomes and an upward revision to June purchases put the economy on a stable footing for the second half. The focus now moves to jobs data tomorrow as diplomatic efforts to contain North Korea’s nuclear program continue.
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“Even though the North Korean tensions are still bubbling away in the background, traders are keen to move back into equities while the sense of panic has evaporated,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
President Donald Trump signaled he’s running out of patience with Kim Jong Un’s regime after the latest provocation in which Pyongyang sent a missile over Japan earlier this week. Trump dismissed the idea of negotiating, while his defense chief said the U.S. hasn’t given up on diplomatic options. Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed in a phone call to send a clear message to prevent North Korea from taking further actions and to prepare additional sanctions.
Terminal subscribers can read more on our Markets Live blog.
Among other key events this week:
U.S. non-farm payrolls data for August will be scrutinized for clues on the Fed’s policy-tightening path. The data is due Friday, along with unemployment and earnings numbers and the Markit U.S. PMI
The eurozone PMI is due Friday, ahead of next week’s ECB rates decision.
And here are the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 added 0.6 percent to 2,471.41 at 4 p.m. in New York. The index edged higher by 1.17 points in August. Its five-day winning streak is the longest since May.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to cap a fifth straight monthly advance.
The Nasdaq 100 Index ended the month at an all-time high.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.8 percent, the biggest gain in a week. It fell 1.1 percent in the month.
The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.1903, near the strongest since 2015.
The British pound added 0.1 percent to $1.2931.
The Japanese yen rose 0.1 percent to 110.09 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries slipped to 2.12 percent. It fell 17 basis points in the month.
Germany’s 10-year yield also was essentially flat at 0.36 percent.
Gold rose 0.7 percent to $1,317.85 an ounce to cap its best month since January.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained 2.8 percent to $47.25 a barrel.
Copper advanced 0.4 percent to $3.08 a pound.
Gasoline for September advanced for an eighth day, up 14 percent to $2.1476 a gallon.
Earlier the front-month contract touched the highest since July 2015.