Rallies in silver, gold and oil helped commodities snap a three-day retreat while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index erased an early advance and trimmed its eighth straight weekly gain, the longest streak since 2004. The British pound touched a two-year high versus the dollar.
The S&P GSCI Index of 24 commodities increased 0.2 percent as silver, gold and crude oil advanced at least 1 percent and copper added 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent at 1 p.m. New York time as U.S. markets closed early following the Thanksgiving holiday. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes increased one basis points to 2.74 percent, while Dutch rates were little changed after S&P stripped the Netherlands of its AAA rating. Norway’s krone slid versus 15 of its 16 major peers as unemployment increased. The pound rose as high as $1.6384, the strongest since August 2011.
Shares worldwide capped a third consecutive monthly advance as central banks maintain monetary policies designed to boost growth. Consumer-price gains in the euro area quickened this month and unemployment in the region declined in October, data today showed. Retailers led U.S. stocks higher in early trading amid optimism about holiday sales. A gauge of Chinese manufacturing due Dec. 1 is forecast to show expansion.
“We continued to see Chinese demand move higher and tighten up the markets,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “The U.S. will be an important source of imports for Chinese manufactured goods.”
Coffee, soybeans and cotton also added at least 1.2 percent as 18 of 24 commodities tracked by the S&P GSCI advanced.
Silver for immediate delivery increased 1.4 percent to $20.0046 an ounce in London trading, gaining for a second day. Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $1,365.25 an ounce. Copper for delivery in three months rose 0.5 percent to $7,055 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.
Natural gas climbed 1.6 percent to $3.958 per million British thermal units in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, on forecasts for colder U.S. weather. It was up 10 percent for the month, the largest rally since March. Crude oil rallied as much as 1.7 percent to $93.90 a barrel in New York before paring gains. It still capped a third consecutive monthly decline, the longest losing streak since January 2009.
Gauges of telephone, financial and industrial shares lost at least 0.4 percent for the biggest declines in the S&P 500, which reversed a gain of more than 0.3 percent. Less than 3 billion shares changed hands in the shortened session, compared with a three-month average of 6.1 billion. General Electric Co., Verizon Communications Inc. and United Technologies Corp. lost more than 0.5 percent for the biggest declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. fell 3 percent after Australia blocked a A$2.2 billion ($2 billion) takeover of GrainCorp Ltd. (GNC)
Apple Inc. climbed about 1.9 percent after a report showed the company sold three of every four smartphones in Japan last month.
Retailers helped lead gains in stocks earlier. Gap Inc. added 0.5 percent and Best Buy Co. rallied 2.4 percent as stores opened their doors to holiday shoppers.
“What you’re seeing is consumer confidence,” said Tom Stringfellow, president and chief investment officer of San Antonio-based Frost Investment Advisors LLC, which manages $9.3 billion. “The holiday season technically starts today with Black Friday. With consumer confidence at the level it’s at now and the market at the level it’s at now, you would expect to see retail sales up 6 or 7 percent from last year, which would be a boon for a lot of retailers.”
The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high of 1,807.23 on Nov. 27 and has climbed almost 27 percent this year, on pace for its biggest annual rally since 1998. It gained 0.1 percent this week and 2.8 percent this month. Germany’s DAX Index rose 0.2 percent an all-time high today.
“Stocks across the world are ending another month of gains on the back of improving economic outlook and central banks pouring unlimited amounts of liquidity,” Ion-Marc Valahu, a co-founder and fund manager at Clairinvest in Geneva, wrote in an e-mail.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed little changed after rising 0.2 percent. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA added 1.5 percent as Italy’s third-largest lender said it plans to return to profit after cutting costs and raising capital. Kesko Oyj, Finland’s biggest retailer, jumped 8.8 percent after saying it’s looking to set up a real-estate investment trust.
Speedy Hire Plc, a U.K. construction-leasing company, slumped 22 percent after its chief executive officer resigned amid an investigation into accounting irregularities at its international operations.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.9 percent in November, a third consecutive monthly increase. The MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 1.2 percent this month, taking its increase for the year to 18 percent.
“Sentiment is still very positive, with investors keeping an eye on economic data and many betting on a year-end rally,” said Patrick Kraehenbuehl, a portfolio manager at Umblin AG in Zurich.
Consumer prices in the euro region rose 0.9 percent this month from a year ago, the European Union statistics office said today, exceeding the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists for a 0.8 percent increase. The European Central Bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate to a record 0.25 percent on Nov. 7 after inflation slowed to a four-year low of 0.7 percent in October.
A separate report showed that euro-area unemployment unexpectedly dropped to 12.1 percent from a record 12.2 percent.
Treasuries extended their first monthly loss since August, with the 10-year yield rising 19 basis points since Oct. 31. The rate on similar-maturity Spanish bonds fell three basis points today to 4.12 percent, from 4.03 percent at the end of last month.
S&P raised Spain’s debt outlook to stable from negative and affirmed its rating at BBB-, the lowest investment grade. It cut the Netherlands to AA+ from AAA, citing weaker growth prospects than previously forecast. The Dutch-German spread was little changed at 33 basis points.
The euro capped a third weekly gain against the yen, touching the strongest level since 2008 at 139.71. The 17-nation shared currency was down 0.1 percent at $1.3587.
Norway’s currency weakened 0.6 percent to 8.3333 per euro and fell 0.7 percent to 6.1312 per dollar as a report showed the unemployment rate climbed to 2.6 percent in November.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose for a third day, increasing 0.5 percent. India’s Sensex (SENSEX) climbed 1.3 percent, paring its first monthly decline in three. Foreigners bought a net $977 million of Indian stocks in November, a third straight monthly inflow. The nation’s gross domestic product increased 4.8 percent from a year ago, the Central Statistics Office, exceeding analyst estimates for a 4.6 percent gain.
Indonesia’s rupiah rebounded from a four-year low, strengthening 0.3 versus the dollar. Bloomberg