Stocks on Wall Street rose strongly in a late rally on the back of higher commodity prices, which lifted the materials and energy sectors.
Gold futures settled at a new high of $US1245 an ounce. Investors were also heartened by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's reassurance that the US economy will continue to recover, but not at a pace strong enough to bring unemployment down quickly.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 123.39 points, or 1.3%, up at 9939.98, snapping a two-day losing streak in which it dropped nearly 440 points.
Among its top performers, DuPont jumped 2.4% after the company's finance chief reiterated the earnings forecast for the next few years. Exxon Mobil was also strong, up 2.3% as crude oil prices rose to $US72 a barrel.
The Dow's technology components kept its gains in check. Microsoft dropped 1.6% while Intel slipped 1.3%.
The Nasdaq Composite finished down 0.1% at 2170.57, weighed down by an unexpected 1.7% drop in Amazon.com.
The S&P 500 index rose 1.1% to 1062.00, boosted by a 2.5% rise in its basic materials sector. Energy and banking also rose while the technology and health-care sectors fell.
Other markets: Europe down, Asia mostly up
European stocks ended lower, unable to hold on to early gains after a warning by Fitch Ratings over the UK's deficit intensified concern about sovereign debt.
As a result, investors sought safety in gold, which hit a record above $US1252 an ounce.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed down 1.1% at 240.06, its third consecutive loss. The UK's FTSE 100 index fell 0.8% to 5028.15, bringing its loss over three sessions to 3.5%. France's CAC-40 index ended 1% lower at 3380.36 and Germany's DAX slipped 0.6% to 5868.55.
Most Asian markets arrested sharp recent declines to clinch modest gains as investors looked for bargains in selective stocks in the resource and exporting industries.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed 0.2% to 9537.94, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.6% to 19,487.48, China's Shanghai Composite inched up 0.1% 2513.95 and Korea's Kospi rose 0.8% 1651.48.
Taiwan's Taiex slipped 0.1% to 7151.99, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rebounded 1.3% to 4381.22, while India's Sensex fell 1.0% to 16,617.10 and Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.2% to 2746.61.
Commodities: Oil, gold up
Crude futures rose slightly on Mr Bernanke’s comment that the US economy was unlikely to experience a double-dip recession and fuelling demand expectations.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled 55USc, or 0.8%, higher at $US71.92 a barrel in New York. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange was 18USc, or 0.4%, higher at $US72.30 a barrel.
Gold prices reached new highs as it benefited from a perceived haven in the face of continuing worries about European sovereign debt.
The most actively traded gold futures contract, for August delivery, settled $US4.80, or 0.4%, at $USUS1245.60 an ounce in New York. The closer June contract was $US4.70 higher at $US1244.00.
Currencies: Euro up, dollar down
The euro briefly moved above $US1.20 for the first time this week, as US stocks rallied and haven currencies fell out of favour.
The euro reached as high as $US1.2008 but then retreated, paring its advanced in tandem with the ebb of US stocks.
The euro was at $US1.1933 from $US1.1917 late on Monday. The dollar was at ¥91.08 from ¥91.59. The euro was at ¥108.69 from ¥109.15.
The UK pound weakened to $US1.4400 from $US1.4464.
Wed, 09 Jun 2010