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US dollar up as global equities advance on investor optimism

US stocks edged higher on Monday helped by better than expected corporate reports, but the gains were limited by falling commodity prices. The dollar strengthened, the ICE US dollar index closed up 0.17%, hitting a three-month high in intraday trading. The S&P 500 ended 0.1% higher at 2,128.27. Gains in technology companies helped Nasdaq close at a record high for three sessions in a row. PayPal gained 5.4% in the first trading day after spin-off from eBay. Halliburton rallied 7.8% after earnings beat expectations. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a non-voting member on Fed’s policy-setting committee, said there is a better than 50 percent chance that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September. US companies are expected to post their worst sales decline in nearly six years in the second quarter, in part due to the strong dollar that reduces the value of overseas revenue of US companies. So far 55 percent of corporate reports have exceeded revenue forecasts, below the 61 percent average beat rate since 2002. And 70% of companies have reported earnings exceeding analyst expectations, above the 63 percent average beat rate since 1994, while earnings are expected to decline 2.1% in the quarter. The trading volume was 5.84 billion shares on US exchanges, about 11% below the average so far this month. No important economic data are expected today in US.

European stocks are advancing today. On Monday they rose for ninth straight session after Greece agreed last week to austerity measures demanded by euro-zone creditors for third bailout package. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3%, Germany’s DAX 30 index was up 0.5% and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.4%. Euro weakened against the dollar. The European Union on Friday approved a bridge loan of 7.16 billion euros to Greece. Greece had to repay 4.2 billion euros to European Central Bank on Monday. Athens used the money to pay its ECB debt on Monday and also repaid 2 billion euros to International Monetary Fund. Greece’s banks reopened on Monday after a three-week closure, although the country’s stock market remained closed. Capital controls are still in place. The new bailout negotiations are expected to last for weeks. IMF had called on euro-zone creditors to write off part of Greece’s debt, and on Sunday Angela Merkel said she was prepared to consider further debt concessions to Athens after the recently agreed economic reforms are launched. No important economic data are expected today in euro-zone. At 9:30 CET public sector net borrowing will be released in UK. The tentative outlook is positive for the Pound.

Nikkei rose 0.9% today to four-week high as yen weakened against the dollar and rising Chinese stocks and expectations for strong first quarter earnings bolstered investors’ confidence. Tomorrow at 05:30 CET second quarter All Industry Activity index will be released in Japan. The tentative outlook is negative.

Chinese stocks are advancing today for the fourth session in a row after interventions by regulators halted the selloff.

Oil prices are moving lower today following the slide on Monday, as softer global growth and strong supplies from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries weigh on prices.

Gold prices stabilized today after crashing to five year low yesterday on reduced safe haven demand as dollar strengthens ahead of expected rate hike later in the year.

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