Finance

Global equities edge up on upbeat earnings; gold falls



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Chibuike Oguh

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Equity markets gained globally on Tuesday as upbeat corporate earnings buoyed investor appetite for riskier investments, while gold prices fell nearly 1%.

The three major U.S. stock indexes closed modestly higher on Tuesday, with the Dow Industrials and hitting fresh records driven mostly by technology and healthcare shares.

Tech heavyweights Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) and Google owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc both reported third-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations.

“Traders see this relatively strong earnings and other companies taking advantage of low interest rates to invest in capital expenditure as positive momentum,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, added 0.2%.

The European index hit its highest in seven weeks, adding 0.75%.

On Wall Street, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, after the company warned that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:)’s new privacy changes would weigh on its digital business.

The rose 0.04% to 35,756.88; the S&P 500 gained 0.18% at 4,574.79; and the added 0.06% at 15,235.72.

“Even though this has been a good earnings season in aggregate, we are starting to see more companies with supply backlogs, hiring difficulties, and rising input prices that are eating into profits,” Deutsche Bank (DE:) analysts wrote.

Gold prices snapped five straight sessions of gains, shedding nearly 1% as the dollar firmed and strong earnings lowered investor appetite for the safe-haven asset.

was down 0.85% at $1,792.449 per ounce, while the U.S. for December delivery settled down 0.7% to $1,793.40 per ounce.

U.S. dollar edged up, trading in a narrow range as markets awaited news from upcoming central bank meetings.

The rose 0.127% at 93.960

U.S. Treasury yields were mixed in thin volume, with those on the long end of the curve falling for a third straight session as investors looked to next week’s Federal Reserve meeting for clues as to the timing of its first interest rate hike in three years.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year yield was down at 1.6097%.

Oil prices edged up to their highest since 2014, supported by a global supply shortage and strong demand in the United States, the world’s biggest consumer.

futures rose 0.5% to settle at $86.40 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate () crude ended 1.1% higher at $84.65.

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