U.S. stocks climb to record as Irma threat recedes

U.S. stocks climb to record as Irma threat recedes

U.S. stocks climb to record as Irma threat recedes

North American stock market indexes jumped Monday after hurricane Irma weakened without causing as much damage as feared, while the loonie slowed its pace of recent gains. The VIX "fear gauge" saw its biggest decline in nearly three weeks as financial and technology shares led gains.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 27 points, or 1.1 percent, to close 2,488, a record.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average soared 259.58 points to 22,057.37.

Manulife Financial Corp rose 1.3 percent to C$23.94, while Royal Bank of Canada, Canada's biggest bank by market capitalization, advanced 0.6 percent to C$91.06.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks surged 15.40 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,414.83. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to 2,462.

The Dow is up 2,294.77 points, or 11.6 percent.

Japan's Nikkei had risen 1.4 percent after Pyongyang held a massive celebration to congratulate the nuclear scientists and technicians who steered the country's sixth and largest nuclear test a week earlier.

Bitcoin was quoted down 0.3 per cent at US$4,215 on the BitStamp platform, off the recent record high of almost US$5,000.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday over the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, imposing a ban on the country's textile exports and capping imports of crude oil. Irma hit the coast of Florida over the weekend and markets grew optimistic after the hurricane looked to have caused less damage than originally thought.

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U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down 0.4 per cent at $1,330.00 an ounce.

ANALYST TAKE: "Once again we find ourselves in a scenario in which no news is good news and while underlying risks remain, the longer we go without another nuclear or missile test, the more positive investors will become", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"The major determinant of gold last week was actually geopolitical tensions, but over the weekend, we did not see any crisis triggering event so we're going to have less chances for gold prices in the upward direction", said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.

The euro EUR= fell 0.67 percent to $1.1952 against the greenback, while the Japanese yen weakened 1.52 percent at 109.47 per dollar.

In the tech sector, BlackBerry picked up 15 cents, or 1.4%, to $11.09, while Constellation Software added $3.02 to $682.20.

Brent crude oil futures for November delivery LCOc1 settled up 6 cents at $53.84 a barrel, while benchmark U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 rose by 59 cents to $48.07.

The index had risen on Monday as 10-year U.S. Treasury yields rose 8 basis points to 2.125 percent, their biggest daily in almost two months. In the previous session, it lost 1.4 per cent in its biggest one-day per centage decline since early July.

The on-shore yuan traded at 6.5422 to the dollar at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN while the offshore yuan was traded at 6.5484 to the US currency.

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