|Global shares rebound modestly; U.S. dollar gains vs yen on BOJ bets|
|Thursday, 25 October 2012 16:13|
Shares on major world markets edged up on mildly positive corporate earnings and economic data on Thursday, while the U.S. dollar rallied to a four-month high against the yen on expectations Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy next week.
By late afternoon Wall Street stocks were slightly higher after the S&P500 index lost 3.6 percent in the past five days, but corporate results were not strong enough to inspire significant buying.
Supporting U.S. stocks, Procter & Gamble (PG.N) was up 2.8 percent to $70.02 after the world's largest household products company reported a better-than-expected profit.
With some 244 companies in the S&P 500 reporting, 62.3 percent have beaten expectations, a slight improvement on the typical 62 percent average, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Revenue, on the other hand, remains disappointing, with just 36.3 percent of companies reporting higher-than-expected revenue, compared with a historic beat rate of 62 percent.
"We had 50 some companies report today and it's all a continuation of companies beating on earnings, but coming in lower on revenue," said Terry Morris, senior vice president and senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 8.32 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,085.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 3.32 points, or 0.24 percent, at 1,412.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 5.99 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,987.69.
European shares edged up after reassuring updates from drugmaker Sanofi (SASY.PA) and consumer goods group Unilever (ULVR.L), although some traders said euro zone concerns would curb further gains. The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed up 0.2 percent at 1,095.90 points.
However, the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index .STOXX50E fell 0.3 percent to 2,483.43 points as financial stocks declined.
The MSCI world stock index .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.3 percent.
In economic news, Britain emerged from recession in the third quarter, as its recent hosting of the Olympics helped the economy grow by 1.0 percent, the strongest quarterly growth in gross domestic product in five years, official data showed.
Comments from a Chinese ministry that the country's factory output should pick up toward the end of the year and a survey showing Chinese orders at their highest levels in months also underpinned investor sentiment.
U.S. business investment showed signs of stalling in September, an indication that a possible sharp tightening in the federal budget already is weighing on the economy.
A reading of new orders for capital goods outside of defense and excluding aircraft was unchanged last month, suggesting companies are holding back due to fears the U.S. Congress may fail to avert sharp tax hikes and spending cuts in 2013.
BOJ EASING BETS
The U.S. dollar rose to a four-month high against the yen as a rise in Treasury yields and expectations the Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy next week had investors broadly selling the Japanese currency.
The greenback has gained almost 3.0 percent versus the yen so far in October, its strongest monthly performance since February. Expectations that the Bank of Japan will take action on October 30 to stimulate the Japanese economy and higher U.S. Treasury yields have made the dollar more attractive to investors.
U.S. benchmark Treasury yields touched a five-week high a day after the Federal Reserve stuck to its monetary policy, prompting some bond market investors to book profits. The dollar/yen currency pair is highly correlated to bond yields.
The price of the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 10/32 to yield 1.8294 percent.
Brent crude settled up 64 cents, or 0.6 percent at $108.49. U.S. oil rose 39 cents, or 0.4 percent to $86.11.