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Stocks climb, gold set for weekly loss

World shares rose broadly yesterday, with technology stocks lifting Wall Street, and gold neared its biggest weekly loss this year as investors shrugged off concerns about interest rate hikes and the US dollar dipped.

Stocks climbed across Asia and Europe, while soaring shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc helped the US technology sector surge.

MSCI’s key index of stock markets across the globe gained 0.61 per cent, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rising 0.19 per cent and emerging market stocks up 1.12 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 164.91 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 25,127.39, the S&P 500 gained 20.65 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 2,724.61 and the Nasdaq Composite added 54.12 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 7,264.20.

Modest gains for the US dollar meant the euro was set to post its second biggest weekly loss in nearly four months. The dollar index rose 0.22 per cent, with the euro down 0.36 per cent to $1.2284.

Caution over the Italian election also gave the country’s bonds a tough week. Polls point to a hung parliament in Italy, where no single party or coalition has an outright majority to form a government, and analysts expect short-term volatility that could weigh on traditionally sensitive euro zone markets.

Broader concerns have lingered globally over the last choppy few weeks, including how far and fast US interest rates may rise and what would that mean for global borrowing costs, risk appetite and business confidence.

Those factors helped keep yields on benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes near four-year highs this week, although yields dropped slightly yesterday .

The 10-year notes last rose 11/32 in price to yield 2.8787 per cent, from 2.917 per cent late on Thursday.

“We think the (Federal Reserve) could well put US rates up four times this year but even then it only takes US rates to 2.5 by the end of the year,” said JPMorgan Asset Management global strategist Mike Bell.

“So the question is would they continue at that pace in 2019?”

Gold’s spot market price dropped 0.3 per cent to $1,327.92 an ounce. It has so far shed about 1.5 per cent this week, its biggest weekly decline since early December.

Oil edged further upwards, supported by a dip in Libyan production and upbeat comments from Saudi Arabia that an Opec-led effort to curb output is working.

US crude rose 1.21 per cent to $63.53 per barrel and Brent was last at $67.07, up 1.02 per cent on the day.

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