NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gold climbed to a record on Thursday as the dollar struggled, while U.S. stocks settled higher after Alcoa (AA.N) began the third-quarter earnings season with an unexpected profit.
Major U.S. equity indexes rose nearly 1 percent, led by Alcoa, a day after the Dow component and the largest American aluminum producer posted its first profit after a string of quarterly losses. Alcoa cited improving metal prices and cost savings as the main reasons for its profitable quarter.
Alcoa is the first major company to release earnings in the U.S. third-quarter reporting season.
Its profit surprise also played a factor in world equity markets on Thursday, as investors have been scouring for signs of any fundamental improvement in organic growth. The MSCI world equity index .MIWO00000PUS rose 1.32 percent to 1,137.84, near the year's high of 1,150.42.
For their part, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 61.29 points, or 0.63 percent, at 9,786.87, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 7.90 points, or 0.75 percent, at 1,065.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 13.60 points, or 0.64 percent, at 2,123.93.
But gold stole the spotlight again.
The yellow metal topped $1,060 per ounce to mark a record high for the third session in a row, versus its late New York Wednesday quote of $1,043.70. It closed the day at $1,055.45.
The move in spot bullion has primarily been driven higher by the weakening dollar, which makes the dollar-denominated metal more attractive to investors.
In some currencies -- the high-flying Australian dollar, for example -- gold has actually fallen in price this year.
"Investors are turning toward gold as a hedge in dollar weakness," said Adrian Koh, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
The dollar was down against a basket of major trading-partner currencies, with the U.S. dollar index down 0.69 percent at 75.966, a 14-month low and below a previous session close of 76.494.
The currency has been hit by a combination of expectations that U.S. interest rates will stay low for some time and a belief that the global economy is on the mend, easing the motivation behind last year's flight to dollar safety.
The euro was up 0.63 percent at $1.4778 from a previous session close of $1.4685, while against the Japanese yen, the dollar was down 0.15 percent at 88.45 from a previous session close of 88.580.
The Australian dollar jumped 1.7 percent to US$0.9063, still benefiting from this week's rate hike. It has now gained nearly 28 percent against the U.S. dollar this year.
Nov 10, 2009
Nov 8, 2009
United Commercial Bank is shut down, sold to East West BancorpThis creates by far the largest U.S. bank focused on the Chinese American market and the largest bank based in Southern California. United Commercial was the 120th bank to fail in the U.S. this year.This creates by far the largest U.S. bank focused on the Chinese American market and the largest bank based in Southern California. United Commercial was the 120th bank to fail in the U.S. this year.
This creates by far the largest U.S. bank focused on the Chinese American market and the largest bank based in Southern California. United Commercial was the 120th bank to fail in the U.S. this year.
Toppled by loan losses and misstated financial reports, San Francisco's United Commercial Bank was shut down by regulators Friday night and immediately sold to Pasadena's East West Bancorp, creating by far the largest U.S. bank focused on the Chinese American market.
The unemployment rate in the US rose to 10.2% in October, which was its highest rate since April 1983, according to figures from the US Labor Department.It rose from September's figure of 9.8%. The economy lost 190,000 jobs in the month.
Since the recession began in December 2007, the number of unemployed has risen by 8.2 million, while the jobless rate has risen from 4.9%.
President Barack Obama described the rise in unemployment as "sobering".
"I will not rest until all Americans who want work can find work," he added.
He also said he would be signing legislation to extend unemployment benefit, cut taxes for businesses and extend tax credits for home buyers.
The policeman smiled back. Stretching away on either side, a chain of 1,000 wall-like slabs daubed with graffiti form a new 1.2-mile barrier from the Brandenburg Gate to Potsdamer Platz — now once again one of Europe’s busiest intersections.
Major Nidal Hasan, an army psychiatrist due to be posted to Afghanistan, shot dead 13 people and wounded 30 others after opening fire with two handguns at Fort Hood yesterday afternoon.
But the death toll from the rampage could have been far worse had it not been for the actions of Sergeant Kimberly Munley, a civilian police officer stationed at the base who was the first on the scene as Major Hasan picked off his victims.
Sergeant Munley managed to hit Major Hasan four times but was herself hit by a bullet that passed through both her legs, according to witnesses.
A memorial service has been scheduled for Tuesday. The White House said Mr Obama and Michelle Obama, the First Lady, would be there. Mr Obama is due to leave the following day for a 10-day tour of Asia.
Earlier, he said the response to the tragedy had displayed "the best of America." He said: "Thursday's shooting was one of the most devastating ever committed on an American military base and yet, even as we saw the worst of human nature on full display, we also saw the best of America."