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* Oil hits three-week high on OPEC prospects, weaker dollar
* Copper up on expectations of more China demand
* Dollar slips but stays close to highest since 2003
* S&P nears intraday record, poised for closing record
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Nov 21 U.S. stocks climbed on Monday
to approach a record peak, and European equity markets also
advanced, thanks to strong gains in the energy sector as oil
prices touched a three-week high.
Brent crude surged more than 3 percent to $48.30,
its highest level in nearly three weeks, as the dollar weakened
and OPEC appeared closer to agreement on an output cut when it
meets next week. U.S. crude was last up 2.7 percent after
hitting a three-week high
Among U.S. equities, the S&P energy index gained 1.9
percent as the top-performing sector, helping to push the
benchmark S&P 500 index just shy of its intraday record of
2,193,81 set on Aug. 15. The advance put the index on pace to
set a closing high.
"I am quite surprised to see oil moving higher - every time
we get these discussions about OPEC agreements and production
cuts, they always fall apart, nobody sticks to them - the oil
cartel is very shaky," said Randy Frederick, vice president of
trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
"What ends up happening is you get people speculating, it
pushes the prices up and then it ends up coming back down."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 48.01 points,
or 0.25 percent, to 18,915.94, the S&P 500 gained 11.17
points, or 0.51 percent, to 2,193.07 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 31.23 points, or 0.59 percent, to 5,352.74.
The Nasdaq hit an intraday record for a second day, reaching
as high as 5,362.48, but market participants cautioned that
volume was likely to be light this week ahead of the U.S.
Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.
The climb in oil lifted European markets, with the STOXX
Europe oil & gas index up 2.2 percent. Europe's index of
leading 300 shares gained 0.3 percent. MSCI's
all-country world index advanced 0.6 percent.
The dollar fell 0.3 percent to 100.94 against a
basket of major currencies, pausing after a 10-day streak that
saw it gaining nearly 5 percent. That rally was fueled by
expectations of policies by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump
that would lead to interest rate increases.
In similar fashion, U.S. Treasury yields, which have soared
in the wake of the U.S. election, declined from one-year highs
as the recent selloff tempted some new buyers. Benchmark 10-year
note yields jumped as high as 2.36 percent on Friday
and were last up 4/32 in price to yield 2.3244 percent.
Copper prices, which have risen on Trump's promise
to spend heavily on infrastructure, were up 2.6 percent
at $5,566 a tonne on the prospect of better demand in top
consumer China and on the dip in the greenback.
The pause in the U.S. dollar rally helped gold bounce
from a 5-1/2 month low. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at
$1,213.27 an ounce.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak)