Global stocks rise as bond yields buoy financials, oil drops

Oil prices retreated from early gains after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast less demand for its crude next year. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, July 12 ― A broad index of stocks around the world rose yesterday as financial shares helped Wall Street’s benchmark index advance, while oil prices fell on a forecast for weaker demand.

The US benchmark S&P 500 stock index notched a record closing high just shy of the 3,000 mark as financial shares were boosted by a jump in bond yields following soft demand in an auction of US$16 billion (RM65.8 billion) in 30-year Treasuries.

A fall in biotech and pharmaceutical shares pulled down the Nasdaq, however, as the administration of US President Donald Trump withdrew a rule that would have required health insurers to pass on rebates from drugmakers.

But the withdrawal of the rule benefited shares of insurers, including UnitedHealth Group Inc, which boosted the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the 27,000 mark for the first time.

MSCI’s gauge of global stocks gained 0.24 per cent as US stocks mostly moved higher.

“Financial stocks are fine today as we’re getting ready to enter the earnings season for banking,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group in Richmond, Virginia. “The 30-year Treasury auction is steepening the (yield) curve a bit.”

“The pharma space is having a bad day,” he added. “The market would be quite a bit higher if it weren’t for that.”

Oil prices retreated from early gains after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast less demand for its crude next year. Earlier in the session, they had hit their highest levels in more than a month.

US crude futures settled 23 cents lower, or 0.38 per cent, at US$60.20 a barrel. Brent crude futures settled down

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