By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK – U.S. and European shares kicked off the new quarter with gains on Monday as talk about interest rate hikes boosted bank stocks, while the dollar edged up from nine-month lows and U.S. Treasury yields hit their highest in more than eight years.
Oil prices resumed their longest stretch of daily gains in more than five years after data pointed to moderating U.S. crude output, though analysts said news of rising OPEC production could cap the rally.
The S&P 500 index rose after notching its strongest first half-year performance since 2013 in a shorter trading day ahead of Tuesday’s Independence Day, a full-day holiday for U.S. financial markets.
Stocks, U.S. currency and treasury yields were also helped by solid economic data on Monday. And investors appeared to get used to the idea central banks including the European Central Bank could move away from stimulus measures such as bond purchases and ultra-low interest rates.
“People are realizing that even if they move quicker than they expected there’s not going to be a dramatic shift. Today is a little more of a calmer market that’s saying we can get through these hawkish dynamics,” said Nathan Thooft, senior managing director at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 129.64 points, or 0.61 percent, to 21,479.27, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 5.6 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,429.01 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 30.36 points, or 0.49 percent, to 6,110.06.
Along with energy and bank sector gains, Dow transport stocks set an intraday record high in a bullish sign.
“If the economy is going to get better, transports, rails, truckers, airlines and all that stuff will do better in anticipation,” said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities in New York.
Short-dated U.S. Treasury yields, the most sensitive to U.S. Federal Reserve rate policy, surged. Two-year yields touched 1.426 percent US2YT=RR, marking their highest since 2009, while benchmark 10-year yields US10YT=RR hit a nearly seven-week high of 2.353 percent.
Analysts said traders were selling Treasuries ahead of Friday’s U.S. June employment report, which could push yields higher if jobs and wage growth beat expectations.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 57.8 last month from 54.9 in May.
“The remarks from last week from central bankers and the ISM data from today help continue to pressure rates higher, and if we do get a solid number on Friday, that could keep the sell-off going,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities in New York.
The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, gained 0.6 percent in its biggest one-day gain in roughly four months helped by the economic data and rising U.S. bond yields.
U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled up 2.2 percent at $47.07, hitting the highest point since June 7, while Brent crude LCOc1 was last up 1.9 percent to $49.68 a barrel.
MSCI’S all world index rose 0.2 percent to erase Friday’s losses. The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX index rose 1.1 percent posting its best day in more than 2 months.
(Additional reporting by Sam Forgione, Richard Leong and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York, Hideyuki Sano in TOKYO, Nigel Stephenson, Jemima Kelly and Dhara Ranasinghe in LONDON; Editing by Louise Ireland, Meredith Mazzilli and Frances Kerry)