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GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S., European stocks touch record highs as calm backs risk rally
May 9, 2017 / 2:37 PM / 7 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S., European stocks touch record highs as calm backs risk rally

* S&P, Nasdaq, German DAX hit record highs

* Wall Street’s “fear gauge” at historic lows

* Bond yields on the rise, gold falls

* Oil buckles as concern grows over battle of OPEC vs shale

By Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK, May 9 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq touching all-time intraday peaks, as U.S. equities tracked European stocks and global bond yields.

Investor sentiment has been bolstered by historically low U.S. stock market volatility, last weekend’s French presidential election result and solid corporate earnings.

The S&P 500 opened at an all-time record 2,401 points and the VIX index of implied volatility - known as the Wall Street “fear gauge” - fell to 9.56 points, the lowest since late 2006.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21.04 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,033.32, the S&P 500 gained 3.16 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,402.54 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.47 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,127.13.

Europe’s index of leading 300 shares rose to a near-two year high of 1,556.3 points, Germany’s DAX hit a record high, and Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to its highest in five weeks before a $24 billion auction of a three-year government debt. German yields rose by 1-2 basis points and the 10-year British gilt yield rose around 4 basis points.

“It’s calm sailing today for stock markets,” ETX Capital senior markets analyst, Neil Wilson, said.

Victory for business-friendly centrist Emmanuel Macron in France and earnings were also supportive for equities, he said, adding: “So far, there is precious little to halt the rotation from bonds to stocks.”

The positive sentiment and rising U.S. Treasury yields also boosted the dollar.

The dollar index rose 0.45 percent, with the euro down 0.28 percent to $1.0891.

In commodities, oil market sentiment swung between optimism over statements from major oil-producing countries that supply cuts could be extended into 2018 and lingering concerns over slowing demand and a rise in U.S. crude output.

Copper bounced from the four-month low touched on Monday after data showed a sharp drop on imports into China, the world’s biggest consumer. London copper rose 0.5 percent to $5,515 a tonne on Tuesday, after falling to as low as $5,462.50 on Monday.

Gold prices touched a nearly eight-week low on Tuesday, indicating a shift in investor preference for riskier assets.

Spot gold dropped 0.7 percent to $1,217.38 an ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 0.79 percent to $1,217.40 an ounce.

Copper rose 0.78 percent to $5,529.00 a tonne.

Asian stocks did not perform as well, with China’s seventh consecutive decline - the longest losing streak for four years - weighing on the region more broadly. (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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