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Global Markets: Stocks rise lead by Wall Street; sterling slides

·3-min read

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World share markets rose on Monday, led by a rebound on Wall Street, even as rising COVID-19 cases threaten to stall the recovery of the world's largest economy.

Contracts to buy U.S. previously owned homes rose by the highest percentage on record in May. But they remained below their February level and were down compared with May 2019, which also kept alive expectations for even more economic stimulus.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide rose past 10 million and deaths surpassed 500,000 on Sunday. The relentless spread of the new coronavirus in the United States, Latin America and elsewhere curbed optimism over the global economy and raised worries that some reopening plans will be delayed.

A rally in Boeing shares after U.S. authorities confirmed that 737 MAX certification flights could start Monday gave life to the Dow industrials, while factory- and materials-heavy sectors of the S&P 500 also rose.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 404.28 points, or 1.62%, to 25,419.83, the S&P 500 gained 32.09 points, or 1.07%, to 3,041.14 and the Nasdaq Composite added 88.84 points, or 0.91%, to 9,846.06.

"Markets are attempting to figure out exactly what the new norm will be given the threat of further outbreaks when attempting to lift lockdown measures," said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.62% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.50%.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.57%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.93% lower, while Japan's Nikkei lost 2.30%.

It is an important week for U.S. data, with the ISM manufacturing index on Wednesday and monthly payrolls on Thursday, moved up a day due to observance of the Independence Day holiday on Friday. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is also testifying on Tuesday.

Bill Merz, head of fixed income research at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis, said he expected small changes for long-term yields, noting that Treasuries may be "one of the least-interesting markets for the rest of the year" due to the Fed's influence on the short end of the curve.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 1/32 in price to yield 0.6397%, from 0.638% late on Friday.

The 2-year note last rose 1/32 in price to yield 0.1583%, from 0.168%.

In currency markets, Sterling fell against both the dollar and euro as investors focused on how Britain's government will pay for its planned infrastructure push, while Brexit-related risks kept pressure on the pound.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2276, down 0.46% on the day.

The dollar index rose 0.058%, with the euro up 0.15% to $1.1234.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.49% versus the greenback at 107.69 per dollar.

U.S. crude recently rose 2% to $39.26 per barrel and Brent was at $41.56, up 1.32% on the day.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Additional reporting by Joice Alves, Thyagaraju Adinarayan and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Karen Pierog in Chicago; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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