Global stocks, dollar rise with renewed risk appetite, oil rebounds

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global stocks gained on Thursday, boosted by Wall Street, and the U.S. dollar touched a two-week high as risk appetite returned and investors braced for developments with U.S. policy and for a key U.S. jobs report due on Friday.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields rose as increased risk appetite diminished the attractiveness of safe-haven U.S. government debt. Oil prices rebounded a day after hitting two-week lows.

A U.S. tax bill moving swiftly through Congress has influenced markets in the past month, with investors hoping that deep cuts to corporate tax rates will help further drive the record-setting run in equities.

The White House said on Thursday it was focusing on getting the lowest corporate tax rate possible in the legislation being considered on Capitol Hill.

“The focus is still on the tax bill," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. "As the details are getting hammered out, I think investors are still buying into the news that it is coming and it will help profitability and business activity.”

Investors also kept an eye on U.S. negotiations over a spending package, amid some concern about a government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 70.57 points, or 0.29 percent, to 24,211.48, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 7.71 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,636.98 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 36.47 points, or 0.54 percent, to 6,812.84.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> lost 0.01 percent.

Technology stocks gained in the United States <.SPLRCT> and Europe <.SX8P> after the high-flying sector had retreated in recent days.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.22 percent after declining the past two sessions.

The dollar rose to a two-week high against a basket of currencies, recovering losses against the yen, on stronger risk appetite across markets.

The dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.18 percent to $93.78, with the euro down 0.2 percent to $1.1771.

"Tomorrow's jobs report will play a significant factor in keeping the (dollar) rally alive and heightening hopes for an early 2018 rate hike," said Lennon Sweeting, chief market strategist at XE in Toronto.

Bitcoin rocketed to a lifetime high just shy of $16,000 after climbing some 60 percent in just over a week, intensifying the debate about whether the cryptocurrency is in a bubble about to burst.

Investors favored selling longer-dated debt as the U.S. Treasury yield curve had compressed to its tightest in more than a decade earlier this week, while short-term Treasury yields were little changed.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 9/32 in price to yield 2.3599 percent, from 2.33 percent late on Wednesday.

Oil prices climbed due to a threatened strike in Nigeria and as traders cover shorts after sharp losses the previous day brought on by an unexpectedly large rise in U.S. stocks of refined fuels.

Brent futures rose 98 cents, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $62.20 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 73 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $56.69.

Copper rose 0.14 percent to $6,559.00 a tonne, but had yet to retrace steep declines from Tuesday's session.

(Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Dion Rabouin in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish)

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