World Stocks edge higher, impact from Paris attacks seen limited

November 16, 2015

New York (Nov 16)  The dollar rose and global equity markets gained on Monday as analysts saw limited economic impact worldwide from Friday's attacks in Paris, although the sale of luxury goods and stocks geared to tourism in the French capital may suffer.

Asian shares hit six-week lows overnight as investors bought safe-haven assets, including gold, the yen and low-risk government debt. But stocks on Wall Street climbed as European shares reversed early losses and the yen later fell.

Gold rose from last week's six-year low as the attacks in Paris, in which 129 people were killed and hundreds wounded, prompted an initial bout of global risk aversion. Investor worries proved short-lived.

"Expectations are that (the attacks) will have a modest potential economic impact," said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank in New York.

Police raided the homes of suspected Islamist militants across France overnight, arresting 23 people, and investigators identified a Belgian national living in Syria as the possible mastermind behind the Paris attacks.

The euro was off 0.80 percent versus the greenback at $1.0691.

"I'd say the market's taking relatively in stride what happened in Paris. The euro has been hit for sure, but it's well off the lows," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York.

French shares slightly underperformed - France's CAC index closed down 0.08 percent - weighed by declines in tourism-related stocks. French hotel group Accor dropped 4.7 percent and Air France shed 5.7 percent.

Luxury stocks also slid, though less so. Hermes and LVMH both fell 1.4 percent, while Kering slipped 0.7 percent. Spending by foreign tourists in Paris makes up a large chunk of these companies' sales.

The STOXX 60 Travel & Leisure index of mostly London-listed shares fell 1.3 percent amid fears the sector could be hit by a loss of consumer confidence.

"Paris is one of the most important cities worldwide in terms of luxury spending and the timing is not good too - a few weeks before Christmas, the most important period for retailers," said Gregoire Laverne, fund manager at Roche Brune Asset Management.

MSCI's all-country world index rebounded, gaining 0.2 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.2 percent at 1,460.75.

Steven Einhorn, vice chairman of hedge fund Omega Advisors, said he expects U.S. stocks easily to outperform bonds in 2016, with a total return of 6 percent to 8 percent.

Investors will come to accept that the United States is in a long-lasting economic expansion with a friendly Federal Reserve, Einhorn told the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 156.27 points, or 0.91 percent, to 17,401.51, the S&P 500 gained 18.58 points, or 0.92 percent, to 2,041.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.68 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,957.56.

U.S. Treasuries prices rose slightly on concerns over Friday's attacks in Paris, though the gains were pared as investors still expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose 4/32 in price to yield 2.2640 percent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was up slightly at 99.349.

The dollar rose against the Japanese yen, adding 0.47 percent to 123.20 yen per dollar, amid expectations an interest rate hike is likely in the United States in December.

Brent crude oil prices pared losses as worries about the economic impact of Friday's attacks ebbed, while U.S. crude rose with gains in the stock market.

Front-month Brent crude prices were down 15 cents at $44.32 a barrel. U.S. futures rebounded, adding 72 cents to $41.46 a barrel.

Source: YahooFinance

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