Strong data lifts stocks after tax scare; oil gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Stocks rose on Friday as solid economic data reversed a Wall Street decline in the previous session, setting up a global stocks index for a fifth consecutive week of gains.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the New York Stock Exchange on the corner of Wall and Broad streets in New York City, New York, U.S., March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Oil prices rose more than 1% but were on track to end negative for the week, while the strong data lifted the euro and the dollar index fell as it lost some of its safe haven appeal.

Stocks rose sharply on Wall Street a day after reports of a Biden administration push to raise taxes on capital gains shoved indexes lower. The proposed increases had been public since the presidential campaign.

“What we are seeing here is the market is attempting to rally after yesterday’s decline, which I think was an aberration,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“Since the beginning of Biden’s campaign, he has always talked about higher taxes, so this is nothing new for the markets.”

Strong economic data also lifted equities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 312.67 points, or 0.92%, to 34,128.57, the S&P 500 gained 56.31 points, or 1.36%, to 4,191.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 237.57 points, or 1.72%, to 14,055.98.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.03% and the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.13%. Emerging market stocks rose 0.96%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.95% higher. Japan’s Nikkei futures rose 1.19%.

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IHS Markit’s flash factory PMI for the United States hit 60.6 in the first half of the month, the highest reading on records dating back to 2007. In the euro zone, the Composite PMI rose to a nine-month high of 53.7, higher than anticipated. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Oil prices edged up with support from the economic data, but concerns over demand from India and Japan lingered, putting a check on gains. Crude futures were set to post a weekly loss.

“Stronger PMIs across Europe, a weaker U.S. dollar, and some European countries planning to ease some of their restrictions are slightly supporting oil prices,” UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

“Oil demand concerns in India due to rising COVID cases are capping the upside.”

U.S. crude recently rose 1.33% to $62.25 per barrel and Brent was at $66.20, up 1.22% on the day.

The euro rose after the strong data, up 0.67% to $1.2095.

The dollar index fell 0.507%, with Sterling last trading at $1.3886, up 0.36% on the day. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.05% versus the greenback at 107.90 per dollar.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 1.5666%, up from 1.556% late on Thursday.

Spot gold dropped 0.5% to $1,775.49 an ounce. Silver fell 0.76% to $25.97.

Bitcoin last fell 1.74% to $50,784.50.

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