Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

S&P sets record closing high as storm, N. Korea fear fades

S&P sets record closing high as storm, N. Korea fear fades

The dollar edged higher on Monday, after posting its biggest weekly drop in two months, as a revival in interest in riskier assets prompted some investors to cut short bets against the greenback before USA inflation data this week. The Dow is also less than one percentage point under its all-time high.

Asian stock markets pushed higher in relief, with Tokyo gaining 1.4 percent.

Sterling fared better against the euro, brushing a fresh one-month high of 90.83 pence, aided by speculation that the Bank of England may sound more hawkish on interest rates in defence of the currency at its policy meeting on Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was on track for a new high. Bloomberg's dollar index rose for the first time in eight days and 10-year Treasury yields climbed past 2.10 percent. The Nasdaq composite jumped 72 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,432 and was also close to a record.

MARKET INSIGHT: "Traders have started the new week hungry for risk, pushing equities and base metals higher on reduced concerns about North Korea and Hurricane Irma", said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

Verisk Analytics Inc.'s catastrophe modeling business AIR Worldwide estimates insured losses resulting from Hurricane Irma will be in the range of $20 billion to $40 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/verisks-air-worldwide-sees-irma-related-insured-loss-much-less-than-harvey-related-damage-2017-09-11).

Irma caused a number of deaths and knocked out electricity to 3 million homes and businesses on its way up the Florida coast.

STORMY WEATHER: Irma hit the U.S.as a major Category 4 hurricane Sunday and is still battering Florida and Georgia.

HCI Group jumped $5, or 16.3 percent, to $35.78 while Heritage Insurance gained $2.22, or 23.7 percent, to $11.59.

Asian Shares Rise As Korea Tensions Ease
US stock market jumps as relieved investors buy banks, insurers, tech

Insurers jumped in markets from Europe to Florida, cruise-ship operators rallied and oil advanced amid signs that predictions about Hurricane Irma's wrath were overdone.

NORTH KOREA: North Koreans observed 69th anniversary of the country's founding, but it the country did not test another intercontinental ballistic missile, as South Korea's government had warned it might do.

So far in 2017, the S&P 500 has risen 10 percent.

Shares of Travelers Cos., Progressive and American International Group rose 2.6%, 1.3% and 1.2% in the pre-market, respectively.

In commodity markets, gold softened 0.7 percent to $1,337.81 an ounce, away from a one-year peak of $1,357.54. High-dividend stocks like phone and utility companies traded higher but didn't do as well as the rest of the market. The VIX "fear gauge" saw its biggest decline in nearly three weeks as financial and technology shares led gains. Apple, which will unveil its newest iPhone on Tuesday, rose $2.92, or 1.8 percent, to $161.55 and Facebook rose $2.33, or 1.4 percent, to $173.28.

In foreign exchange, the European single currency was trading down at $1.1979 compared with $1.2030 late in NY on Friday.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX gained 1.4 percent and the French CAC 40 rose 1.2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 69 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $48.17 a barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 5 cents to $53.83 a barrel in London.

The ICE Dollar Index rose 0.2% to 91.47, led by gains for the greenback against the yen, which rose to Yen108.55 from Yen107.84 late Friday. The People's Bank of China said it would remove a 20 percent foreign exchange margin for financial institutions buying United States dollars, a move that may signal discomfort with the strong Chinese currency against the greenback which hurts exporters.

Sixteenth anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks
Sirens soon wailed and commuters packed subway to leave the city. "On that day not only did the world change but we all changed". Another commercial aircraft commandeered by terrorists struck the western portion of the Pentagon before 10 a.m.

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