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Global equities edge up on upbeat earnings; gold falls

Global equities edge up on upbeat earnings; gold falls

FILE PHOTO: People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK :Equity markets gained globally on Tuesday as upbeat corporate earnings buoyed investor appetite for riskier investments, while gold prices fell nearly 1per cent.

The three major U.S. stock indexes closed modestly higher on Tuesday, with the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 hitting fresh records driven mostly by technology and healthcare shares.

Tech heavyweights Microsoft Corp and Google owner Alphabet Inc both reported third-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations.

"Traders see this relatively strong earnings and other companies taking advantage of low interest rates to invest in capital expenditure as positive momentum," said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, added 0.2per cent.

The European STOXX 600 index hit its highest in seven weeks, adding 0.75per cent.

On Wall Street, Facebook Inc was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, after the company warned that Apple Inc's new privacy changes would weigh on its digital business.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.04per cent to 35,756.88; the S&P 500 gained 0.18per cent at 4,574.79; and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.06per cent at 15,235.72.

"Even though this has been a good earnings season in aggregate, we are starting to see more companies with supply backlogs, hiring difficulties, and rising input prices that are eating into profits," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote.

Gold prices snapped five straight sessions of gains, shedding nearly 1per cent as the dollar firmed and strong earnings lowered investor appetite for the safe-haven asset.

Spot gold was down 0.85per cent at US$1,792.449 per ounce, while the U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down 0.7per cent to US$1,793.40 per ounce.

U.S. dollar edged up, trading in a narrow range as markets awaited news from upcoming central bank meetings.

The U.S. dollar index rose 0.127per cent at 93.960

U.S. Treasury yields were mixed in thin volume, with those on the long end of the curve falling for a third straight session as investors looked to next week's Federal Reserve meeting for clues as to the timing of its first interest rate hike in three years.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year yield was down at 1.6097per cent.

Oil prices edged up to their highest since 2014, supported by a global supply shortage and strong demand in the United States, the world's biggest consumer.

Brent futures rose 0.5per cent to settle at US$86.40 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended 1.1per cent higher at US$84.65.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York and Tom Wilson in London; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio)

Source: Reuters

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