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* Financials lead Wall Street higher
* European stocks touch highest level since Dec. 2015
* U.S. Treasury yields fall ahead of Yellen testimony
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 13 A gauge of global equity
markets advanced on Monday and bond yields rose, buoyed by a
reemergence of assets likely to benefit from reflationary
policies that are expected to be implemented by U.S. President
Financials and banks in particular led
equities on Wall Street higher as investors bet Trump's tax
reform plans and softer regulatory environment will boost
economic growth and corporate profits.
Comments from Trump on Thursday that he plans to announce
what he said would be the most ambitious tax reform plan since
the Reagan era in the next few weeks rekindled hopes for big tax
cuts while the announced resignation of the Fed's top bank
regulator on Friday heightened expectations for a loosening of
rules on banks.
"At some point there has to be actions that match the words
and I think we are getting closer to that point," said Brent
Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual
Investors were also encouraged by the two-day U.S.-Japan
summit held over the weekend apparently having ended smoothly
without Trump talking tough on trade, currency or security
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trump opened
talks at the White House on Monday, with Trudeau seeking to
nurture economic ties while avoiding tensions over issues such
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 156.34 points,
or 0.77 percent, to 20,425.71, the S&P 500 gained 14.02
points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,330.12 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 33.06 points, or 0.58 percent, to 5,767.18.
The advance put the S&P 500's market capitalization above
the $20 trillion mark for the first time.
MSCI's all-country world index advanced 0.56
percent and was on track for its fourth straight advance.
Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.76
percent to close at its highest level since December 2015.
U.S. Treasury yields rose as investors looked ahead to
testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday and
Wednesday when the Fed Chair gives her semiannual Humphrey
Hawkins testimony before lawmakers in Washington.
Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 7/32 in
price to yield 2.4341 percent, up from 2.41 percent late on
The dollar was up 0.14 percent against a basket of
major currencies, after touching its highest level in almost
three weeks, on expectations the reflationary policies would
stoke economic growth and the possibility the Fed could be more
aggressive in hiking interest rates.
In commodities, copper hit its highest levels since
May 2015 after shipments from Chile and Indonesia, the world's
two biggest copper mines, were disrupted.
The metal last traded at $6,125 per tonne, up 0.57 percent
on the day after climbing as high as $6,204. On Friday it jumped
more than 4 percent, its biggest one-day rise in almost four
Oil prices pulled back from strong gains registered on
Friday as the dollar strengthened and signs of rising U.S. crude
output pressured prices.
International benchmark Brent crude futures fell 2.1
percent to $55.51 per barrel and U.S. crude lost
1.9 percent to $52.82.
(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan; Editing by
Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)