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Global Markets: Upbeat earnings lift stocks, dollar slips to three-year low

By Caroline Valetkevitch
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock markets broadly edged higher on Tuesday, with the U.S. market getting a lift from upbeat earnings from companies such as Netflix, while the U.S. dollar slipped to a three-year low against a basket of major currencies.

Helping the positive tone for stocks was relief over Monday's temporary U.S. government funding deal, which boosted confidence about global growth and corporate earnings.

Global borrowing costs also eased as the Bank of Japan's reassurances in Asia added to the relief that U.S. lawmakers had struck a short-term deal to fund the government through to Feb. 8. The deal resolved a three-day shutdown in Washington.

Keeping some of the enthusiasm in check, U.S. President Donald Trump late Monday slapped steep import tariffs on washing machines and solar panels. That put a cloud over global trade.

In U.S. stocks, Netflix <NFLX.O> was up 10.6 percent and hit a record high after the video-streaming pioneer beat Wall Street targets for new subscribers in the fourth quarter. The majority of results so far this earnings season have been stronger than expected.

"Generally, we like the trend of earnings, we think they will continue to be good and our forecasts for the rest of the year look good," said Mike Baele, managing director at U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management in Portland, Oregon.

"It is not surprising the market is taking comfort in these good numbers."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 5.14 points, or 0.02 percent, to 26,209.46, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 5.9 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,838.87 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 48.51 points, or 0.65 percent, to 7,456.54.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> rose 0.12 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.47 percent.

Data showed euro zone consumer confidence jumped much more than expected in January, underlining the strong momentum in the euro zone economy.

That pushed the dollar index to a three-year low.

The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.29 percent, with the euro <EUR=> up 0.24 percent to $1.229.

Some investors speculate that the recent bearish move in the dollar may be coming to a close amid brewing concerns over the U.S. stance on global trade.

Also in the foreign exchange market, Britain's pound topped $1.40 <GBP=D4> for the first time since voters there chose in 2016 to leave the European Union.

Sterling <GBP=> was last trading at $1.3995, up 0.07 percent on the day.

Brent crude inched above $70 a barrel for the first time in a week before settling just below that level. Healthy world economic growth prospects boosted oil.

Brent crude futures <LCOc1> gained 93 cents to settle at $69.96, and rose above $70 during the session. U.S. crude futures <CLc1> rose 90 cents to settle at $64.47.

U.S. Treasury debt yields slid, in line with declines in Japanese government bond yields, after the Bank of Japan kept interest rate targets unchanged and its top official quashed speculation of a move away from an easy monetary policy.

Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last rose 11/32 in price to yield 2.6242 percent, from 2.663 percent late on Monday.


(Additional reporting by Marc Jones and Saikat Chatterjee in London, Chuck Mikolajczak, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed, David Gaffen and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)