Shares bound higher as Fed meeting nears

June 19 [Wed], 2013, 20:24
By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose and the dollar strengthened against the yen on Monday on expectations the Federal Reserve will reinforce its commitment this week to supporting the U.S. economic recovery.

Stocks on Wall Street and major European indices gained 1 percent or more as investors await the end of a two-day meeting of the U.S. central bank on Wednesday, when investors hope to get a better idea on Fed policy from Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"There's hopes we'll get clarity from the Fed this week," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

The Fed meeting has taken on greater significance since Bernanke said in May that the U.S. central bank may decide to pare back its bond buying in its next few meetings if the economy gains momentum.

Those comments halted a stock market rally and sparked a surged in Treasuries yields while igniting a dramatic uptick in volatility as investors tried to gauge the effects of a Fed reduction in its asset purchase program.

"The market is beginning to adjust itself to an eventual trimming from the Fed toward the beginning of next year," Cardillo said.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 1.2 percent to 1,190.09, while MSCI's all-country world equity index rose 1.1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 169.14 points, or 1.12 percent, at 15,239.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 16.84 points, or 1.04 percent, at 1,643.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 40.10 points, or 1.17 percent, at 3,463.65.

Growth in the New York state manufacturing sector picked up in June, helped lift stocks, but the details were less encouraging as new orders and employment fell to their lowest levels in five months, a report from the New York Fed showed.

The dollar rose against the yen for the first time in five trading sessions as stock markets gained worldwide, but range-trading is likely to dominate until the Fed's policy announcement on Wednesday.

The dollar briefly extended its gains after the New York state manufacturing report topped economists' expectations.

"The dollar has been selling off over the last week or so, so I think it probably has more room to gain than to lose," said John Doyle, currency strategist at Tempus Inc. in Washington.

The dollar rose 0.7 percent to 94.71 yen. Against the dollar, the euro rose a bit to $1.3352, not far off a 3-1/2-month high of $1.3390 set on Thursday.

Treasury prices pared early gains. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.1403 percent.

Brent crude oil rose above $106 per barrel as a superpower standoff over the Syrian civil war intensified, raising the risk of conflict spilling into the Middle East oil-producing region.

Brent crude oil futures for August rose 13 cents to $106.06 a barrel.

U.S. light crude oil futures gained 4 cents to$97.89.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler)



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