Dollar rebounds after slide, oil retreats

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar rose on Wednesday, rebounding after its worst day in more than a year, while a retreat in oil prices pressured energy shares and put Wall Street stocks in negative territory.

Asset classes largely digested big moves that were recorded in the previous session, when the new Greek government dropped calls for a write-down of its foreign debt, easing concerns about growing instability in the euro zone. The news resulted in a sharp rally for both stocks and oil, while the U.S. dollar and bonds fell.

U.S. crude futures , which rose almost 20 percent over the previous four session, were down 4.3 percent on Wednesday. Brent crude fell 3 percent to $ 56.16 per barrel. The S&P Energy index <.SPNY> fell 1.5 percent, by far the worst-performing group among S&P sectors.

“Oil has been the big driver. We have seen oil moving strongly since last Friday and certainly the energy sector was leading the market higher,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was nearly unchanged, up 0.36 points to 17,666.76, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 7.22 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,042.81 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 22.61 points, or 0.48 percent, to 4,705.13.

Shares in Europe <.FTEU3> rose 0.3 percent, while the MSCI International ACWI Price Index <.MIWD00000PUS> jumped 1.3 percent. The gains in the global index were largely due to Japan, where the Nikkei <.N225> jumped 2 percent on strong results from Mitsubishi, the U.S. shares of which rose 3.3 percent.

Shares in Shanghai <.SSEC> had closed 0.9 percent lower ahead of the announcement by China’s central bank of a cut in the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves. That was the first industry-wide cut in more than 2-1/2 years, as the central bank increased efforts to shore up flagging growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 13/32 in price, the yield at 1.8274 percent.

The U.S. dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.4 percent following a decline of about 1 percent on Tuesday, which was its biggest one-day fall since October 2013. The euro fell 0.5 percent while the yen was up less than 0.1 percent.

“The dollar bid bias remains in place. If we continue to see good jobs data as well as earnings improve in the United States in the coming days, that could bring the shine back,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC World Markets.

Among precious metals, gold rose 0.6 percent on the day while silver was up 1.3 percent. Copper was flat on the day. On Tuesday, it jumped 3.5 percent in its biggest one-day move since May 2013.

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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