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US stocks surge to records as retail, oil shares gain

Alibaba, which trades in New York, jumped 5 percent.  



New York: US stocks scored a hat-trick Thursday, with all three major indices vaulting to records due to strong gains in petroleum-linked shares and retailers.

The three-way record, last seen among the leading US indices in 1999, came as European stocks also pushed higher thanks to accommodative central bank policies lending continued support to equities.

Traders found inspiration from healthy results by China`s retail behemoth Alibaba, which reported sales of 32.15 billion yuan ($4.83 billion), 59 percent higher than the level a year ago and above analyst expectations.

Alibaba, which trades in New York, jumped 5 percent.

US retailers were also upward bound.

Shares of Macy`s surged 17.4 percent after it announced plans to shut 100 of its 728 stores and boost investment in online shopping, seen as a key step to becoming more competitive against Amazon and other rising e-commerce players.

Kohl`s, another leading US retailer, also soared following better-than-expected earnings.

The gains helped lift the broad-based S&P 500 0.5 percent to a record 2,185.79. The Dow and Nasdaq scored similar increases in posting records of their own.

Paris rose 1.2 percent, Frankfurt 0.9 percent and London 0.7 percent.

"European markets have been seeing unusual sessions these past few days," IG France analyst Alexandre Baradez said. "Volumes are low, and there are few economic data, but there`s still a positive impulse."

Energy stocks were another outperformer, with Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron rising along with oil services giants Halliburton and Schlumberger.

Oil prices rose after Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih reportedly suggested OPEC producers could agree to cut output next month.

Those remarks offset downcast aspects of the International Energy Agency`s oil market report, which trimmed the forecast for demand growth in 2017 due to the world economy`s weaker outlook following Britain`s vote to leave the European Union.

The US benchmark contract, West Texas Intermediate for September delivery, closed up $1.78 at $43.49.

The dollar advanced against other major currencies.

The gain reflected the possibility that the US Federal Reserve could lift interest rates at a time other central banks are easing, as well as expectations for a strong US retail sales report on Friday, BK Asset Management`s Kathy Lien said.New York - DOW: UP 0.6 percent at 18,613.52 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.5 percent to 2,185.79 (close)

New York: Nasdaq: UP 0.5 percent to 5,228.40 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 6,914.71 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.9 percent at 10,742.84 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.2 percent at 4,503.95 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.0 percent at 3,049.03 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: closed for holiday

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent 3,002.637 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.4 percent at 22,580.55 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1138 from $1.1183 Wednesday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2955 from $1.3014

Dollar/yen: UP at 101.95 yen from 101.26 yen
 

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