Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

New York — A gauge of world stocks hit a record high on Monday while copper prices surged to their highest levels in more than four months after robust growth data in China.

China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.9% clip in the second quarter, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target.

Commodity prices were also buoyed as the dollar fell to a 10-month low before steadying.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a two-year high, as MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.13% and set a record.

Wall Street opened slightly higher as investors braced for a flood of second-quarter earnings reports later in the week.

"The market from a big picture perspective is just waiting on earnings," said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina.

"Can companies continue to follow through with what was a very good earnings season in Q1? I think that’s what investors are looking for." The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.93 points, or 0.05%, to 21,648.67, the S&P 500 gained 2.38 points, or 0.10%, to 2,461.65 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.61 points, or 0.06%, to 6,316.08.

Shares of BlackRock fell 3.1% after the quarterly report from the world’s biggest asset manager fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts.

Analysts expect that earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 8.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.37%. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.03%. Shares of miners Anglo American and Glencore gained, supported by the strong China data and rising copper prices.

Copper rose 1.52% to $6,016.00 a tonne, touching its highest level since early March.

Among other commodities, US crude fell 0.09 percent to $46.50 per barrel and Brent was last at $48.90, down 0.02% on the day.

Fewer drilling rigs were added in the United States last week, helping ease concerns that surging shale supplies will undermine Opec-led production cuts.

Investors were also digesting US data from Friday pointing to tame inflation and soft domestic demand that diminished prospects of a third interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year.

US Treasury yields were little changed to slightly higher, trading in narrow ranges, after a fairly volatile week.

"We’re still trading off the weak inflation and retail sales data from Friday, although the market is trying to figure what to do next," said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist, at TD Securities in New York.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.3283%, from 2.319% late on Friday.

The dollar was flat against a basket of currencies after falling to a 10-month low earlier in the session. The euro up 0.04% at $1.1472.


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