Brent oil rises to 2016 high; U.S. stocks gain

Brent oil prices hit a high for the year above $40 a barrel on Monday after data showed a smaller-than-expected build in U.S. crude stockpiles, helping U.S. stocks extend recent gains.

Brent was last up $1.87 at $40.59, while U.S. crude rose $1.58 to $37.50.

That lifted shares of energy stocks, which led gains in the S&P 500. The energy index climbed 1.5 percent. Biotechs also rallied, helping to support the broader market.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 65.23 points, or 0.38 percent, to 17,072, the S&P 500 had gained 3.86 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,003.85 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 9.78 points, or 0.21 percent, to 4,726.80.

MSCI’s all-country world stock index edged up 0.2 percent. In Europe, the pan-regionalFTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed down 0.3 percent.

The euro tumbled against the dollar before Thursday’s ECB meeting at which policymakers are expected to cut interest rates further into negative territory.

The euro was 0.5 percent lower at $1.0950 and down 0.7 percent at 124.34 yen. The U.S. dollar index was down 0.2 percent.

“The U.S. economy is doing relatively well. The dollar will likely hang on to its gains right now,” said Sireen Harajli, currency strategist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in New York.

In the U.S. bond market, U.S. Treasury yields rose in volatile trading as traders increased bets the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year in the wake of a strong February jobs report and ahead of a ECB meeting.

Friday’s payrolls data showed 242,000 jobs were created last month and assuaged fears the U.S. economy could be headed into recession. It also revived prospects of further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes this year, something markets had priced out.

The benchmark 10-year note’s yield rose to 1.918 percent, its highest in just over a month. It was last down 9/32 in price to yield 1.9127 percent, up from 1.883 percent late on Friday.




 Copyrigth: Reuters