GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks rise as oil, bond prices fall on ebbing Syria fears

Wall St rises as Syria fears ease; healthcare stocks jump
April 16, 2018
US STOCKS-Wall St rises as Syria fears ease; healthcare stocks jump
April 16, 2018

GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks rise as oil, bond prices fall on ebbing Syria fears

* U.S., German govt bond yields hit multi-week highs

* Oil prices pare losses after losing more than 1.5 percent

* Wall Street rises but European shares dip

* Reduced Syria anxiety also takes dollar down (Adds U.S. market open; changes dateline to New York; updates throughout)

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK, April 16 (Reuters) – Wall Street rose while oil and government bond prices fell on Monday on the view that this weekend’s U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria were unlikely to mark the start of a broader conflict.

Saturday’s strikes marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia, which is facing further economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.

“There is a feeling (in the market) that there will be no follow-up action,” Rabobank fixed income analyst Lyn Graham-Taylor said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 190.35 points, or 0.78 percent, to 24,550.49, the S&P 500 gained 16.89 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,673.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.31 points, or 0.41 percent, to 7,135.96.

“The action was well-received … and that’s giving a chance for investors to focus on macro news and earnings,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Healthcare shares also rose after positive updates on a cancer drug from Merck.

Hopes that the strike against Syria would not escalate further also spurred investors to shed the U.S. dollar.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent, with the euro up 0.28 percent to $1.2364.

European shares eased, however, adding to a mixed picture from Asian stock markets and suggesting that a degree of caution prevails.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.41 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.5 percent lower, as Chinese blue-chips skidded 1.6 percent.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.30 percent.

European and U.S. government bond yields, which move inversely to prices, rose across the board. That was partly as attention turned to what is expected to be a robust first-quarter U.S. corporate earnings season, which begins in earnest this week.

The yields on German and U.S. government bonds, among the most liquid and safe assets in the world, were at their highest levels in nearly two weeks and four weeks, respectively.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.8469 percent, from 2.828 percent late on Friday.

The 30-year bond last fell 7/32 in price to yield 3.0463 percent, from 3.036 percent.

Some other traditional safe-haven bets held firmer, with gold and Japan’s yen edging higher.

Dealers were keeping a wary eye on Japanese politics after a survey showed support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had fallen to 26.7 percent, the lowest since he took office in late 2012.

Even so, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.26 percent.

Oil prices, meanwhile, recouped some losses after falling sharply. Brent crude was last at $71.78, down 1.1 percent on the day, with a rise in U.S. drilling for new production also dragging on prices.

U.S. crude fell 1.34 percent to $66.49 per barrel.

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