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April 23, 2014
Friday, December 20, 2013

US stocks rally on GDP data; euro steady after EU downgrade

US stocks jumped after the US government said the economy grew at its briskest pace in nearly two years, while the euro held steady, paring earlier losses after Standard & Poor's stripped the European Union of its triple-A credit rating.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 90.40 points, or 0.56 percent, at 16,269.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 11.95 points, or 0.66 percent, at 1,821.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 44.88 points, or 1.11 percent, at 4,103.01.

Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed 0.45 percent higher at 1,287.61, bringing its weekly gain to 3.6 percent, its biggest since late April.

Earlier, Toyko's Nikkei index closed up 0.07 percent, bringing its weekly gain to 3.03 percent.

Gold rebounded after hitting a six-month low. It was still on course for its largest annual loss in 32 years. Gold was last up 1 percent at $1,201.99 an ounce, shaving its weekly decline to 2.86 percent but still on track to lose 28 percent on the year.

Brent crude oil rose more than $1 above $111 a barrel, heading for a weekly gain, boosted by a positive outlook for fuel demand in the United States and reduced Libyan supply. US oil futures were up 18 cents at $99.22.

In the currency market, the euro was up 0.1 percent against the dollar at $1.3677 after hitting an earlier low of $1.3626.

The dollar weakened against the Japanese yen on lower US bond yields. It was last down 0.2 percent at 104.02 yen after touching a five-year high against the Japanese currency earlier on the upbeat US growth data.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasuries note fell basis points at 2.881 percent after flirting with its year high of 3 percent earlier.

The spread between five-year and 30-year Treasuries, which some analysts see as a gauge of investors' view on changes in the Fed's interest rate policy and its bond purchase program, shrank to 2.17 percent, its tightest level since mid-September.

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