* Global shares gain on data, euro hits 11-month peak
* Positive global growth outlook also supports oil, copper
* European banks repay more ECB loans than predicted
* German Ifo raises hopes of euro zone turnaround
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, Jan 25 The euro hit an 11-month high
and global shares rose on Friday on signs of a healthier
European financial system and a brighter outlook for Germany,
while U.S. stocks extended a rally in the benchmark S&P 500
index to an eighth successive session.
Solid U.S. corporate earnings and the strongest seasonal
inflows into U.S. stock mutual funds in a decade also helped
lift Wall Street, as the S&P 500 briefly topped the 1,500 mark
for a second day in a row, a level last reached in late 2007.
"We are seeing a very broad-based rally and the ingredients
are still in place" for gains to continue, said Steve Goldman,
principal at Goldman Management in Short Hills, New Jersey.
"This is the lift-off phase and it's still significant."
Data showing new U.S. single-family home sales fell in
December was not a cause for concern on Wall Street as the
median sales price rose and the sector still appears set to be a
bright spot in the U.S. economy's recovery.
The Commerce Department raised its estimate for sales in
November by 22,000 to a 398,000-unit rate, making the sales pace
for the month the fastest since April 2010. Government data for
new home sales are subject to substantial revisions.
Global shares as measured by MSCI's all-country world equity
index rose 0.41 percent to 354.08.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 22.30 points,
or 0.16 percent, at 13,847.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 1.94 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,496.76. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.89 points, or 0.25
percent, at 3,138.27.
Among companies beating analysts' expectations, Procter &
Gamble Co's quarterly profit blew past expectations and
Honeywell International Inc posted earnings just above
Wall Street estimates.
P&G rose 3.69 percent to $73.02, but Honeywell slipped 0.18
percent to $68.13.
Of companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to
date for the fourth quarter of last year, 68 percent have beaten
analysts' expectations, slightly higher than the 65 percent
average over the previous four quarters.
Sentiment across riskier asset markets rose earlier in the
session when the European Central Bank said euro zone banks
would repay 137 billion euros in emergency loans early.
By taking back the three-year loans after only one year, the
ECB has become the first major central bank to start moving away
from unconventional monetary policy measures to tackle the
crisis. By contrast, the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan
are buying bonds to stimulate economic growth.
The scale of the repayment, which beat the average estimate
of around 100 billion euros in a Reuters poll, sent the euro
higher, pushed German government bond prices down and boosted
bank stocks across the euro zone.
"This is more than we had expected and underlines the
material improvement in funding conditions for most European
banks in the past 12 months," said Michael Symonds, a credit
analyst at Daiwa Capital Markets.
The euro hit $1.3471, its highest since February 2012, to
extend gains following the release of data showing the German
economy gathering speed again after contracting late last year.
The euro last traded up 0.7 percent at $1.3468.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European shares
was up 0.15 percent at 1,172.64 points, buoyed by a report that
showed the Ifo think tank's business climate index rose in
January to its highest level since June.
German bond futures fell 75 ticks
"Germany is roaring back to growth in the new year," said
Berenberg Bank economist Christian Schulz.
Oil prices rose above $113 a barrel as robust economic data
from the United States, China and Germany lifted the outlook for
global fuel demand.
Manufacturing in China and the United States grew this month
at the quickest pace in about two years.
Brent crude rose 8 cents to $113.36 a barrel. U.S.
crude fell 13 cents to $95.82.
U.S. Treasury debt yields rose, with 30-year bonds trading a
point lower in price after better-than-expected euro zone data
spurred selling of safe-haven U.S. government debt.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was
down 18/32 in price to yield 1.9148 percent.