US stocks surge despite Paris attacks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar rose and global equity markets gained on Monday (Nov 16) as analysts saw limited economic impact worldwide from Friday's deadly attacks in Paris, although the sale of luxury goods and stocks geared to tourism in the French capital may suffer.

Asian shares hit six-week lows overnight as investors bought safe-haven assets, including gold, the yen and low-risk government debt. But stocks on Wall Street climbed more than 1 per cent and European shares rebounded from early losses.

Gold rose from last week's six-year low as the attacks in Paris, which left 129 people dead and hundreds wounded, prompted an initial bout of global risk aversion.

However, market worries proved short-lived and gold pared gains as investors renewed their focus on expectations the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates in December.

US gold futures for December delivery settled up 0.3 per cent at US$1,083.60 (S$1,542) an ounce.

"Expectations are that (the attacks) will have a modest potential economic impact," said Mr Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at US Bank in New York.

Police raided the homes of suspected Islamist militants across France overnight, arresting 23 people, and investigators identified a Belgian national living in Syria as the possible mastermind behind the Paris attacks, which killed 129 people.

French President Francois Hollande vowed to destroy Islamic State, the militant group which claimed responsibility.

The euro was off 0.87 per cent versus the greenback at US$1.0683.

France's CAC index closed down 0.08 per cent, weighed by declines in tourism-related stocks. French hotel group Accor dropped 4.7 per cent and Air France shed 5.7 per cent.

Luxury stocks also slid, though less so. Hermes and LVMH both fell 1.4 per cent, while Kering slipped 0.7 per cent. Spending by foreign tourists in Paris makes up a large chunk of these companies' sales.

The STOXX 60 Travel & Leisure index of mostly London-listed shares fell 1.3 per cent amid fears the sector could be hit by a loss of consumer confidence.

"Paris is one of the most important cities worldwide in terms of luxury spending and the timing is not good, too - a few weeks before Christmas, the most important period for retailers," said Mr Gregoire Laverne, fund manager at Roche Brune Asset Management.

MSCI's all-country world index rebounded, gaining 0.6 per cent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.2 per cent at 1,460.75.

Mr Steven Einhorn, vice-chairman of hedge fund Omega Advisors, said he expects US stocks easily to outperform bonds in 2016, with a total return of 6 per cent to 8 per cent.

Investors will come to accept a long-lasting US economic expansion with a friendly Federal Reserve, Mr Einhorn told the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 237.77 points, or 1.38 per cent, to 17,483.01. The S&P 500 gained 30.15 points, or 1.49 per cent, to 2,053.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 56.73 points, or 1.15 per cent, to 4,984.62.

US Treasuries prices rose slightly on concerns over Friday's attacks in Paris, though the gains were pared as investors still expect the Fed to raise rates in December.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.2693 per cent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.4 per cent at 99.365.

The dollar rose against the yen, adding 0.46 per cent to 123.19 yen per dollar, amid expectations the Fed will hike in December.

Brent crude oil prices pared losses to rise as worries about the economic impact of Friday's attacks ebbed, while US crude rose with gains in the stock market.

Front-month Brent crude settled 9 US cents higher at US$44.56 a barrel. US futures rose US$1 to settle at US$41.74.