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Stocks rally, S&P 500 crosses 3,000 barrier; oil gains

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05/26/2020 | 05:44pm EDT
A man wearing a protective face mask, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, walks in front of a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo

By Herbert Lash and Marc Jones

Global equities and oil rose on Tuesday as China's promise of more stimulus and prospects of a world economic recovery cheered investors, who set aside concerns about tense rhetoric between Washington and Beijing.

The euro got a boost from a weaker dollar as rising optimism about the easing of coronavirus pandemic lockdowns supported riskier currencies and sent safe-haven gold lower.

Crude prices rose on growing confidence that producers are following through on commitments to cut supplies and as fuel demand has picked up.

U.S. stocks pared gains after President Donald Trump's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said China was making "a big mistake" with planned national security legislation on Hong Kong and pledged Washington would pay expenses of U.S. firms that wanted to shift operations from the city or China.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Trump finds it hard to see "how Hong Kong can remain a financial hub if China takes over."

MSCI's gauge of stock performance in 49 countries rose more than 2% at one point, as did its emerging markets index. The S&P 500 climbed past the 3,000 mark for the first time since March 5, up 37% from March lows but still off about 11% from its all-time high in February, and it closed under 3,000.

Europe was powered by a 6.9% surge in travel and leisure stocks. On Wall Street, shares of American Airlines and United Airlines Holdings rose more than 15% and U.S.-listed cruise ship operators jumped about the same.

The major boost for investor sentiment is the reopening of the U.S. and global economies, said Jason Benowitz, senior portfolio manager at the Roosevelt Investment Group Inc in New York.

"Reports of economic activity, while still terrible compared to three months ago, have begun to get less bad as compared to the prior month," Benowitz said.

Spain said quarantine-free tourism would resume next month and Germany edged toward a 9 billion-euro bailout of airline Lufthansa.

Spain's Melia Hotels International rose 13.6% and France's Accor 11.3%, the biggest percentage gainers on the Spanish and French bourses. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd were among the top four percentage gainers on the S&P 500.

But the travel industry remained vulnerable. Latin America's largest airline, LATAM Airlines Group, and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States.

MSCI's all-country world index <.MIWD00000PUS gained 1.6%, and the pan-European STOXX 600 index 1.1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 529.95 points, or 2.17%, to 24,995.11. The S&P 500 gained 36.32 points, or 1.23%, to 2,991.77 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.63 points, or 0.17%, to 9,340.22.

Crude prices were buoyed by Russia's saying its oil output had dropped close to its target of 8.5 million barrels per day for May and June under the supply deal reached by major producers.

Brent futures rose 64 cents to settle at $36.17 a barrel, while U.S. crude settled up $1.10 at $34.35.

China's central bank said it would keep pushing to lower interest rates on loans, helping offset tensions between Beijing and Washington over trade, the coronavirus and Hong Kong.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> advanced 1.7% overnight, with South Korea <.KS11> up 1.75% and Chinese blue chips <.CSI300> 1.1% higher.

The dollar index <=USD> fell 0.774%, with the euro up 0.81% to $1.0987. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.20% versus the greenback at 107.50 per dollar.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes rose 3.4 basis points to yield 0.6932%.

U.S. gold futures settled down 1.7% at $1,705.60 an ounce. Spot gold dropped 1.1% to $1,711.12.

Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/GLOBAL-CURRENCIES-PERFORMANCE/0100301V041/index.html

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; additional reporting by Medha Singh; editing by Dan Grebler, Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ACCOR 3.06% 24.28 Real-time Quote.-41.84%
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. -4.18% 12.6 Delayed Quote.-56.07%
AT HOME GROUP INC. 3.09% 22.72 Delayed Quote.313.09%
DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA AG 5.59% 8.494 Delayed Quote.-48.24%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.10% 28335.57 Delayed Quote.-0.71%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 0.02% 1.1861 Delayed Quote.5.37%
EURO 50 SELECT 4.75% DECREMENT (SHLE, UHD) 0.94% 704.71214 Real-time Quote.-17.06%
EUROPE SELECT GREEN 50 5% DECREMENT (DIV, UHD) 0.12% 1562.517513 Real-time Quote.-5.04%
FRANCE SELECT 70 EQUAL WT 5% DECREMENT (DIV, UHD) 0.86% 1291.702248 Real-time Quote.-17.44%
GOLD 0.00% 1901.12671 Delayed Quote.25.56%
HUB CO., LTD. -2.06% 619 End-of-day quote.-40.60%
JASON CO., LTD. -1.68% 702 End-of-day quote.92.86%
JUST GROUP PLC -0.68% 46.64 Delayed Quote.-40.96%
LATAM AIRLINES GROUP S.A. -0.77% 1189.2 End-of-day quote.-84.24%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. 0.11% 9.04 End-of-day quote.49.67%
LONDON BRENT OIL -1.65% 41.66 Delayed Quote.-35.76%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED 0.83% 970 End-of-day quote.-22.52%
MELIA HOTELS INTERNATIONAL 5.76% 3.266 Delayed Quote.-58.45%
NASDAQ 100 0.25% 11692.571891 Delayed Quote.33.89%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.37% 11548.281629 Delayed Quote.28.71%
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD. 3.61% 18.35 Delayed Quote.-68.58%
ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD 1.72% 64.48 Delayed Quote.-51.70%
S&P 500 0.34% 3465.39 Delayed Quote.7.26%
SHIFT, INC. -10.88% 14340 End-of-day quote.79.70%
STOXX EUROPE 600 0.62% 362.5 Delayed Quote.-12.83%
THE GLOBAL LTD. -0.92% 216 End-of-day quote.-54.14%
UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC. 2.07% 38.01 Delayed Quote.-56.85%
WILL GROUP, INC. 1.55% 852 End-of-day quote.-31.95%
WORLD CO., LTD. 1.31% 1397 End-of-day quote.-48.09%
WTI -2.04% 39.715 Delayed Quote.-33.87%
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