October 1, 2017 / 10:19 PM / a year ago

Dollar, world stocks surge on U.S. economic outlook

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets climbed worldwide on Monday, lifted by optimism over the outlook for corporate earnings and U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan, while the dollar gained as investors took a bullish view of the American economy.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

The three major U.S. stock indexes closed at record highs, driven by the notion that economies around the world are growing in sync and inflation is low, giving the Federal Reserve and other central banks little reason to squelch the expansion.

“All this lamenting over the past few months about where is inflation, that’s the reason why the stock market has rallied,” said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management.

“This is fantastic. There’s moderate inflation, we’re growing and no one is rushing to cut anything off, which the Fed has done over the past 30 years. They’ve learned that lesson.”

Spanish borrowing costs rose and stocks fell as a violent police crackdown on an independence vote in Catalonia rattled investors, but major European bourses gained on travel stocks and the mining sector was helped by higher metals prices.

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U.S. manufacturing surged on strong gains in new orders and raw material prices, while rebounding construction spending in August bolstered the economic outlook even as hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to dent third-quarter growth.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of U.S. factory activity rose to 60.8 last month, the highest reading since May 2004, from 58.8 in August.

The dollar was last up 0.65 percent against the euro at $1.1735 EUR= and up 0.21 percent against the yen JPY= at 112.71 JPY=. The euro was also hurt after the voting in Catalonia fuelled anxiety over political risk in the euro zone. The crisis could deepen further if the Catalan regional parliament uses the vote as justification for a unilateral declaration of independence.

Many analysts said Spain’s economy could slow though they expect the crisis to be resolved with an offer of more autonomy.

The pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 of leading European companies rose 0.51 percent to close at 1,532.50, and MSCI's gauge of stock performance in 47 countries .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.2 percent.

On Wall Street, the three key stock indexes ground higher to record intraday highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 152.51 points, or 0.68 percent, to end at 22,557.60. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 9.76 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,529.12 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 20.76 points, or 0.32 percent, to 6,516.72.

“Investors are trying to get in front of earnings that are expected to be pretty good and there’s still some optimism over corporate tax relief,” Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Third-quarter earnings are expected to increase 6.2 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters research. Excluding energy, earnings growth is estimated at 4.3 percent.

Oil fell as a rise in U.S. drilling and higher output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries halted a rally that helped prices register their biggest third-quarter gain in 13 years.

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for the first week in seven and Iraq announced its exports rose slightly in September while OPEC overall boosted output, a Reuters survey showed. [OPEC/M]

Brent LCOcv1 settled down 67 cents at $56.12 a barrel and U.S. crude CLcv1 fell $1.09 to settle at $50.58.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes US10YT=RR fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.3390 percent.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 for December delivery settled down $9 at $1,275.80 per ounce, while copper CMCU3 rose 0.19 percent to $6,493.00 a tonne. [MET/L]

Additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney and Jemima Kelly, John Geddie and Claire Milhench in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish

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