Dollar set for best week of 2017, stocks near records

FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar was headed for its strongest week of the year on Friday, while world stock markets climbed back near record-high levels on the last trading day of the quarter.

Firming expectations for another U.S. interest rate increase by year-end, combined with U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax-cut plan, have dominated markets for most of the week.

Data on Friday showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August but the report did little to change expectations that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates again in December. Another report showed the Chicago purchasing management index, which gauges factory activity, came in better-than-expected for September.

“The economic data we got was either on target or it was slightly better than expected so there wasn’t anything negative at all to put a pause on things,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

“Generally, the overall economic backdrop is very solid. In a bull market when you don’t have bad news you tend to get up moves in the market,” Frederick said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 18.29 points, or 0.08 percent, to 22,362.91, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 4.93 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,514.99 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 31.99 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,485.44.

The S&P technology sector <.SPLRCT> led the way, rising 0.6 percent.

The S&P 500 had set a record closing high on Thursday.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> rose 0.34 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.34 percent.

The MSCI global index was within 0.5 percent of an all-time high and on pace for its 11th consecutive positive month.

The dollar index <.DXY> was flat. The greenback was up about 1 percent for the week, on track for its best week since December.

“What you have seen is a general closing out of some short dollar positions but for that to be sustained we need greater detail on Trump’s fiscal plans and see it going through,” said James Binny, head of currency portfolio management for EMEA at State Street Global Advisors.

The euro <EUR=> was up 0.29 percent to $1.1818.

Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.3193 percent, from 2.307 percent late on Thursday.

U.S. crude <CLcv1> fell 0.23 percent to $51.44 per barrel and Brent <LCOcv1> was last at $56.88, down 0.49 percent on the day.

Spot gold <XAU=> dropped 0.2 percent to $1,284.52 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan and Saikat Chatterjee in London; Editing by Andrew Bolton and Nick Zieminski)


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