By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock markets around the world were mostly higher on Thursday, lifted as crude oil resumed its recent rise, but investors digested the European Central Bank’s surprise decision to strike Greek bonds off its list of accepted collateral.
While U.S. equities rose on the day, with energy shares among the biggest gainers, the pan-European FTSEurofirst <.FTEU3> share index fell 0.4 percent. The MSCI International ACWI Price Index <.MIWD00000PUS> rose 0.4 percent.
The ECB move increases the pressure on Greece to put new reforms in place. Greek bank shares plunged over 20 percent <.FTATBNK>, and the country’s short-term debt yields surged to almost 20 percent . Both pared their losses, leaving bank stocks down just 7 percent.
The euro tumbled overnight but recovered on Thursday, rising 0.7 percent against the dollar . The common currency was helped by the strongest rise in German industrial orders since early 2008.
The U.S. Dollar index <.DXY> dipped 0.1 percent against a basket of currencies. The yen fell 0.2 percent against the dollar .
U.S. crude futures rose 3.1 percent to $ 49.93 per barrel, resuming its recent uptrend after falling in the previous session, and continuing to demonstrate the commodity’s volatility. Oil has risen in five of the past six sessions, and in 2015 has only had four sessions with a move smaller than 1 percent. Despite the recent rise, oil remains down more than 50 percent from a high reached in June.
“It will be some time yet before we see any sustained trend reversal in oil prices,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank. “There’s no basis for a sustained recovery at the moment.”
Wall Street was also boosted by encouraging jobless claims data, which came a day before Friday’s non-farm payrolls figures.
“Employment continues to improve at a fairly moderate pace, which feels breakneck compared to the past, which means people are getting jobs and that is a big positive for the economy,” said David Heidel, regional investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
“The problem is every time we get confirmation that the jobs picture is improving, it also sparks worries the Federal Reserve will act sooner (rather) than later to raise rates and continues this schizophrenic up and down,” Heidel said.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 117.49 points, or 0.66 percent, to 17,790.51, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 13.81 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,055.32 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 28.51 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,745.21.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 3/32 in price, pushing the yield up 1.8084 percent.
Gold prices fell 0.8 percent. Silver lost 1.7 percent and copper fell 1 percent.
(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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