The dollar fell the most in almost two weeks amid speculation damage from superstorm Sandy will be less severe than anticipated. Canadian stocks advanced and oil rose from the lowest level in almost four months.
The dollar weakened 0.4 percent to $1.2960 per euro at 4 p.m. in New York and slid against nine of its 16 major counterparts. Canadian shares increased 0.5 percent, while Brazilian equities rallied 0.9 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.9 percent. Oil rose 0.2 percent, paring an earlier gain of as much as 0.8 percent. S&P 500 futures expiring in December added 0.2 percent from Friday’s close as of 6:29 p.m. New York time, ahead of the reopening of equity markets.
“The numbers have yet to be established in terms of what that’s going to cost to clean up,” Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank of Canada in Toronto, said in a phone interview. “Whether it’s disruptive any more than the last two days will be seen. It’s lightened liquidity in all markets, and even shut some down. There’s much less liquidity in the overall financial markets when New York is closed.”
Sandy, now termed a post-tropical cyclone, came ashore in southern New Jersey at 8 p.m. New York time yesterday and drove floodwaters to life-threatening levels in a region with 60 million residents. U.S. equity markets were shut for a second day today, with the New York Stock Exchange saying it plans to open tomorrow. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association also recommended that trading resume tomorrow of U.S. dollar-denominated fixed-income securities.
The Labor Department is striving to issue its monthly report on employment in the U.S. in three days as scheduled, a spokesman said today. The jobs report is the last before the presidential election, and may help sway voters trying to decide between giving President Barack Obama another four years in office or to change course with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 125,000 workers in October and the jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent, the reports on Nov. 2 may show, according to median forecasts of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Index of property values in 20 cities rose 2 percent in August from a year earlier, after a 1.2 percent advance in July, a report showed today. The average estimate by economists in a Bloomberg survey had called for a 1.9 percent increase.
The Dollar Index, which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six U.S. trading partners, fell 0.4 percent to 79.95.
The euro appreciated against most of its major peers as Spain’s National Statistics Institute said gross domestic product declined 0.3 percent in the three months through September. That compared with the Bank of Spain’s estimate on Oct. 23 of a 0.4 percent contraction.
The yen rose 0.2 percent against the dollar after the Bank of Japan added less stimulus than some analysts expected. Policy makers raised their asset-purchase fund, its main policy tool, by 11 trillion yen ($138 billion) to 66 trillion yen.
The Stoxx 600 climbed for the fourth time in five days, rallying 0.9 percent. BP Plc gained 4.2 percent, the biggest jump since November, after it raised its dividend and earnings topped forecasts. Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest lender, jumped 4.5 percent after profit unexpectedly rose as investment-banking revenue exceeded targets.
Italy’s five-year note yield fell six basis points to 3.82 percent after the nation sold 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) of new 3.5 percent notes maturing 2017 and 3 billion euros of 10-year bonds at auction today, meeting its maximum target. A report today showed German unemployment climbed twice as much as economists forecast in October.
Copper rose 0.3 percent as total Chinese demand, including refined and scrap metal, may gain an average 6 percent a year from 2011 to 2015, Wang Zhongkui, the deputy general manager of Beijing Antaike Information Development Co., said today. The metal fell in the previous eight sessions, the longest slide for a most-active contract since October 1998.
Crude oil for December delivery rose 14 cents to $85.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange amid speculation that demand will soon rebound in the aftermath of Sandy. Phillips 66, Hess Corp., NuStar Energy LP and PBF Energy Inc. reduced refinery operations because of Sandy.
“Most of the refineries should soon be back to normal operations, which will increase demand for crude,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “It also looks like the storm will have a relatively small impact on fuel demand.”
Canadian stocks added 0.5 percent, climbing for a fourth day, as Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd. rose 8.1 percent, its biggest increase since March. Brazil’s Bovespa index rallied 0.9 percent, rebounding from a two-day drop. Oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA and OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA contributed most to the gauge’s advance, jumping at least 0.9 percent.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 0.3 percent. India’s Sensex index slipped 1.1 percent as the central bank kept interest rates unchanged. South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.4 percent as the country’s current-account surplus widened to the second biggest on record in September.