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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks advance toward record high on stimulus; gold crashes

Tue, 11th Aug 2020 17:11

(Updates with U.S. market open; changes byline, dateline;
previous LONDON)

* Dollar slips while stocks are on the march

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, Aug 11 (Reuters) - A gauge of global equity
markets inched toward an all-time peak on Tuesday, with the S&P
500 nearing a record high, lifted by hopes for fresh U.S.
stimulus and signs of a growing American economy that spurred
yields to climb and thrashed gold prices.

Hopes of steady economic recovery from the coronavirus
pandemic boosted sentiment, helping European stocks hit a near
three-week high as automakers gained on a surge in China sales
numbers.

The S&P 500 neared its Feb. 19 peak and levels last seen
before the onset of the crisis, when investors started dumping
shares in anticipation of what proved to be the biggest U.S.
economic slump since the Great Depression.

The dollar slid from one-week highs and the euro topped
$1.18 as investors flocked to currencies that benefit from an
improving global market outlook, while gold prices dived as
expectations of a U.S. stimulus deal boosted risk appetite.

U.S. producer prices increased by the most in more than
1-1/2 years in July, and the Labor Department's producer price
index for final demand rose 0.6%, driven by a surge in portfolio
management fees and rising costs for gasoline.

The market believes the economy will grow and that the
pandemic will be overcome, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment
strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.

"Short term, we're going to get stimulus," Ghriskey said.
"Longer term is that we're going to get through this virus.
We're going to have a vaccine eventually."

MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets
rose 0.73% to 568.17, off less than 3% from its record, while
Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.64%
at 1,436.83.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose
0.94%, the S&P 500 gained 0.35% and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 0.16%. The S&P was less than half a percentage
point from a fresh record.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that Russia
had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a
COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing
aided sentiment, some analysts said.

"I'm not sure people put a lot of credence in the Russian
vaccine, which hasn't been tested," Ghriskey said. "But who
knows? Treatments are getting better and the economy is slowly
improving."

Yields on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note
jumped six basis points to 0.638%, a sign investors
anticipate growth. Yields dipped as low as 0.504% last Thursday,
the lowest since March.

Sterling and commodity-linked currencies such as the
Australian and Canadian dollars, as well as the Norwegian crown,
gained against a broadly weakening dollar.

The euro rose 0.23%, to $1.1763. The dollar index
fell 0.129%, and the Japanese yen weakened 0.56% versus
the greenback at 106.54 per dollar.

Gold sank as much as 4.3%, facing its worst one-day rout in
seven years. Other precious metals also took a beating, with
silver plunging as much as 8% - its biggest daily decline
since mid-March.

Spot gold prices fell $80.1413, or 3.95%, to
$1,947.12 an ounce.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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