June 21, 2019 / 1:50 PM / 4 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil up on Iran tensions, stocks hover at seven-week highs

* Gold at near six-year highs after big week

* Potential military strikes in Middle East worry markets

* Investors digest possible wave of central bank easing

* Government yields edge up; dollar index falls (Updates with opening of U.S. markets; changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON)

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK, June 21 (Reuters) - Oil prices built on recent gains on Friday on fears any U.S. military attack on Iran would disrupt flows from the Middle East, while increases on Wall Street kept a gauge of global stock markets near seven-week highs.

Gold prices climbed to near six-year highs and were on track for their best week in three years.

Central banks have dominated economic news this week, with the Federal Reserve signaling the potential for a U.S. interest rate cut later this year and the European Central Bank hinting at stimulus measures.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.02%, as Wall Street's main indexes climbed in morning trading a day after the benchmark S&P 500 notched a record high.

U.S. stocks picked up steam after a Wall Street Journal report said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will postpone his planned speech on China policy next week to avoid stoking additional tensions ahead of President Donald Trump's planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week.

Concerns about a trade war between the two countries undermining the global economy have clouded the outlook for markets.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 120.37 points, or 0.45%, to 26,873.54, the S&P 500 gained 6.78 points, or 0.23%, to 2,960.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.94 points, or 0.14%, to 8,062.28.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.33%.

Trump said he had aborted a military strike on Iran because such a response to Tehran's downing of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone would have caused a disproportionate loss of life.

Spot gold added 0.5% to $1,394.31 an ounce, surpassing the key $1,400 level during the session.

"There is a perfect mix of ingredients for gold's rush to the top – a weak macroeconomic environment, low bond yields, soft dollar and rising geopolitical tensions," said Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank.

Oil futures rallied on fears of a disruption to flows in the Middle East, which provides more than a fifth of the world's oil output.

"A lot of the oil produced in the world comes from very troubled areas, and occasionally we get reminders of that," said Gene McGillian, vice president at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

U.S. crude rose 0.67% to $57.45 per barrel and Brent was last at $65.09, up 0.99% on the day.

Government bond yields in the United States and Europe edged higher but remained near record or multi-year lows after the dovish statements from the central banks.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last fell 18/32 in price to yield 2.0609%, from 2.001% late on Thursday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1%, with the euro up 0.27% to $1.1321.

The yen rose to a five-month high versus the dollar during the session on growing tensions between Iran and the United States.

Additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York, Abhinav Ramnarayan in London, Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, editing by Hugh Lawson

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below