NEW YORK - Crude oil prices and a gauge of global equity markets edged higher on Monday as lockdowns eased, with the Nasdaq setting a record closing high, but sentiment remained tenuous as coronavirus infections continued to rise.
The dollar fell and higher risk currencies, including the Australian dollar, jumped as investors weighed improving economic data against the prospect of new business shutdowns if a second wave of the pandemic gains force.
Gold prices climbed 1% to hit the highest in more than a month as investors took refuge in the safe haven.
Coronavirus cases are soaring in several major countries, with "worrying increases" in Latin America, especially Brazil, the World Health Organization said. More than 183,000 new cases around the world were reported on Sunday, the biggest daily tally since the outbreak started in December, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
MSCI's broadest index of shares across the globe rose 0.36% and has gained more than 40% since its March lows on hopes that the worst of the pandemic was over.
But emerging market stocks lost 0.08% and the pan-European STOXX 600 index closed down 0.76% on signs of a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Germany.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153.5 points, or 0.59%, to 26,024.96 and the S&P 500 gained 20.12 points, or 0.65%, to 3,117.86. The Nasdaq Composite added 110.35 points, or 1.11%, to 10,056.48, a record close, as shares of Apple Inc hit an all-time peak.
Investors nonetheless edged into perceived safe-haven assets like U.S. government bonds. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose 0.1 basis point to yield 0.7102%.
The dollar index fell 0.659%, with the euro up 0.75% to $1.1259. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.07% versus the greenback at 106.91 per dollar.
Credit rating agency Moody's warned that the stimulus measures will leave advanced economies with much higher debt than they accumulated during the last financial crisis.
"Government debt/GDP ratios will rise by around 19 percentage points, nearly twice as much as in 2009 during the (global financial crisis)... the rise in debt burdens will be more immediate and pervasive, reflecting the acuteness and breadth of the shock posed by the coronavirus," Moody's said.
Oil rose about 2% on tighter supplies from major producers and as coronavirus lockdowns continued to ease, but gains were capped by worries that a worldwide rise in new infections might stall a recovery in fuel demand.
Brent oil futures, the international benchmark, rose 89 cents to settle at $43.08 a barrel. U.S. crude futures settled up 71 cents at $40.46.
U.S. gold futures settled 0.8% higher at $1,766.40 an ounce.