European Stocks Gain Traction Amid Relief Rally as Hurricane Irma Weakens

Gladys Abbott
September 13, 2017

US stocks surged to new highs Monday after Hurricane Irma weakened without causing as much damage as many had feared.

Reinsurance companies, which tumbled last week as they were expected to bear the financial brunt of Hurricane Irma's damage, jumped on Monday.

The S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.08 percent to 2,488.11 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.13 percent to 6,432.26. The Dow Jones industrial average added 256 points, or 1.2 percent, to 22,055, it biggest one-day jump since March.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.4 percent to close at 19,545.77 as the yen came off recent highs against the dollar, easing pressure on exporters.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks surged 15.40 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,414.83.

So far in 2017, the S&P 500 has risen 10 percent. The yuan has gained 6.8 percent so far this year, having more than made up the almost 6.6 percent drop it suffered in 2016.

Meanwhile, bitcoin rose 1.9 percent to $4,306.85 BTC=BTSP on the BitStamp platform, regaining some ground after tumbling late last week.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.6 percent at 12,550 while the CAC 40 in France was 0.7 percent higher at 5,213.

North Korea failed to conduct another missile test over the weekend, as some predicted might happen to mark the anniversary of the country's founding. The hurricane left almost four million people without power as it swept through southwest Florida and while it has weakened, its strong winds and flooding still pose a risk, CNN said.

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Risk appetite also returned to the markets as the chances of Federal Reserve interest rate increases this year receded after the U.S. was struck by the first back-to-back major storms since 1964. Rising tensions between the US and North Korea have weighed on stocks in recent weeks and raised the prices of gold and bonds.

In other precious metals, silver slipped 0.5% to $17.83 an ounce after touching its highest since April in the previous session.

Gold stocks, however, took a thumping, as Alamos Gold lost $1.70, or 16.6%, to $8.55, while Kinross Gold shed 20 cents, or 3.3%, to $5.66.

Gold reached a 12-month high of around $1,356 per oz last week in the aftermath of North Korea┬┤s purported hydrogen bomb test.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1930 while the dollar rose 0.4 percent to 109.83 yen.

That wiped out a month of losses linked to global tensions as well as worries about the lingering effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which are expected to slow the USA economy over the next few months.

The No. 2 USA airline by passenger traffic, whose business is heavily dependent on operations at the Atlanta airport, said it was planning to resume service to airports in Florida.

The single currency fell below $1.20 after his comments to a low of $1.9935 before recovering partially.

- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose eight basis points to 2.13 percent, the highest in a week.

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