US Equities Rise on Russia-Ukraine Optimism

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US Equities Rise on Russia-Ukraine Optimism

US stock markets advanced at the opening bell on Friday as positive sentiment over the Russia-Ukraine crisis overshadowed worries that US air strikes on Iraq would have effects.

The Dow Jones Industrial average advanced 27.42 points or 0.17%, to 16,395.69. The S&P 500 added 4.08 points or 0.21% to 1,913.65, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 4.44 points or 0.1% to 4,339.41.

According to Reuters, utility firms were the best performers on the Standard & Poor’s 500, with their high-dividend yield yet gain appealing to investors after the US 10-year Treasury note yield declined to a low last registered 14 months ago.

US blue-chip indexes did better than a 0.7% drop in the Stoxx Europe 600. The Nikkei Stock Average of Japan suffered its biggest daily loss in close to four months after sliding 3%. A run of wins in safe-haven bonds sent the 10-year Treasury note to as low as 2.35%.

Geopolitical events were on focus again, as US war planes bombed Islamic State positions in Iraq on Friday, attempting slow the rebels’ territorial gains in the country.

But news coming from Russia eased concerns over the country’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. US equity-gauge futures had been tense throughout overnight trading, but soared early Friday after Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council said Russia will keep making all efforts to reverse hostilities in Ukraine.

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Still, US equities investors have been considering returning after a recent rebound, traders said.

“People have been seeing if they can put a little bit of money to work, but I haven’t seen very heavy volume in general today,” Mohit Bajaj of WallachBeth Capital is quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying.

Mr. Bajaj believes that much of the stocks-buying is an indicator of the easing of the cautious stance taken recently in the wake of instability in global markets.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com