(Adds U.S. market open, byline, NEW YORK dateline)
* MSCI’s all-country world index gains 0.36%
* Oil approaches one-year high on OPEC+ output cut
* Benchmark bond yields rise, dollar also gains
NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Global equities markets rose for a fourth day of gains on Thursday as signs of a stable U.S. labor market, a revitalized dollar and rising bond yields turned attention to economies on the mend rather than the recent trading frenzy sparked by retail investors.
Longer-term U.S. Treasury yields rose in anticipation of a large pandemic relief bill from Washington, while the dollar climbed toward a fifth-straight daily gain on a possibly stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report on Friday.
Expectations of more stimulus, low interest rates and news that British researchers plan to use the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to find ways to reduce coronavirus variants are pushing equities higher, said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.
“Extremely low interest rates that continue despite heavy government spending and deficits are leaving investors with a feeling it’s slanted toward an upward market,” he said.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.81%, the S&P 500 gained 0.75% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.79%.
Weekly U.S. jobless claims showed at least 17.8 million Americans were on benefits in mid-January, suggesting long-term unemployment was entrenched and could boost President Joe Biden’s push for Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion relief bill.
The main indexes for bourses in London, Frankfurt and Paris edged up, helped by an agreement late Wednesday by Germany’s ruling coalition on additional measures to support those hit hard financially by the pandemic. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index added 0.60% to 1,576.65.
The British pound dived as much as half a percent on the possibility the Bank of England would endorse negative interest rates. But sterling turned positive after the bank indicated it would not take that position for at least for six months, if at all.
Sterling was last trading at $1.3658, up 0.10%.
Hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic can be brought to heel by extensive vaccination programs, combined with expectations of unswerving global economic stimulus, have led the bond market to focus on rising government debt and potential inflation.
The dollar index rose 0.525%, with the euro down 0.59% to $1.1963. The Japanese yen weakened 0.42% versus the greenback at 105.48 per dollar.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose almost 1 basis point to 1.1409%, while Germany’s 30-year government bond yield was almost back in positive territory for the first time since September.
Market gauges of future euro zone inflation were at their highest since May 2019, while the gap between two- and 10-year Treasury yields, at more than 100 basis points, was the widest in almost three years. That is seen as a another key indicator of an approaching economic recovery.
Markets eased a bit overnight in Asia. MSCI’s ex-Japan Asian-Pacific index fell 0.6%, led by 1.3% and 0.4% drops in South Korea and China.
Japan’s Nikkei lost 1%, ending a three-day winning streak.
Gold dropped more than 2% to break below the key $1,800 psychological level as a jump in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields eroded bullion’s appeal.
Spot gold prices fell -2.56% to $1,786.86 an ounce.
Oil prices gained slightly after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and producer allies stuck to their policy of reduced output.
Brent crude futures rose $0.30 to $58.76 a barrel. U.S. crude futures gained $0.46 to $56.15 a barrel.
Additional Reporting by Sujata Rao in London and Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Alexander Smith and Dan Grebler