World stocks rise on Spain and data, euro dips

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Published October 15, 2012

| Reuters

Global stocks rose on Monday on upbeat U.S. data and earnings and bets Spain was close to asking for a bailout, while the lack of details on Madrid's next actions pressured the euro.

Data from China over the weekend that showed a much higher-than-expected rate of growth in exports offered some support to risk markets, but caution remained ahead of data due on Thursday expected to show the world's second-largest economy concluded a seventh straight quarter of slowing growth in September.

Wall Street rallied following last week's decline, the largest in four months, as Citigroup posted better-than-expected earnings and September retail sales signaled steady U.S. growth.

"After big declines last week we have strong Citi earnings and positive European news. In the short term it takes European stress out and allows markets to focus on earnings and the U.S. consumer," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

Citigroup shares rose as much as 5.4 percent to $36.62, the highest in more than six months.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 96.00 points, or 0.72 percent, to 13,424.85. The S&P 500 gained 9.91 points, or 0.69 percent, to 1,438.50. The Nasdaq Composite added 14.79 points, or 0.49 percent, to 3,058.91.

The S&P is less than 2 percent below its 2012 closing high hit a month ago.

An MSCI index of global shares added 0.4 percent while the FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> of top European shares closed up 0.46 percent.

Spain could ask for financial aid from the euro zone next month and if it does, the request would likely be dealt with alongside a revised loan program for Greece and a bailout for Cyprus, euro zone officials said.

The euro surrendered gains to trade slightly lower against the U.S. dollar as traders looked for more clarity on the potential bailout for Spain.

Uncertainty over when Madrid will ask for financial aid and whether Greece can agree on new austerity measures with its lenders has discouraged some investors from buying the euro in recent weeks.

At the same time, expectations that the single currency will rally once Spain seeks a rescue package have kept market players from betting heavily against it.

"With no important data due the rest of today, headlines out of Europe will be the main driver over the coming 24 hours," said Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX in New York.

The single currency was trading down 0.12 percent at $1.2937.

Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding the deal, signs that Greece may get a fresh aid package prompted big gains in Greek debt. The benchmark Greek 10-year bond yield was down on the day at 17.55 percent, the lowest since August 2011.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 3/32, with the yield at 1.6664 percent.

Demand for Greek bonds has been steadily improving as a result of recent comments from German officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, about the Athens government's efforts on economic reform. This has eased fears that Greece would ultimately be forced out of the euro zone.

Benchmark copper touched a one-month low on the London Metal Exchange on concerns about demand from China. Basic materials overall were posting losses, with the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB commodities index off 1 percent.

Brent futures were slightly higher in choppy trading as worries over weak global oil demand tempered positive Chinese and U.S. data.

Brent crude was up 16 cents to $114.78 a barrel after sliding 75 cents in the previous session. U.S. oil was down 1 percent at $90.94.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Nick Olivari; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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