U.S. equity-index futures climbed as European lawmakers moved closer to a pledge with Greece on extending its bailout program. Gold slipped with Treasuries, while the dollar extended gains versus major peers.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.2 percent to 2,065.70 by 5:18 p.m. in New York, after the gauge closed little changed in the U.S. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index jumped 0.5 percent to its highest level since at least 2004. The greenback was near its strongest price since Jan. 5 versus the yen, fueling gains in Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes rose for a fifth straight day, adding two basis points to 2.02 percent. Gold was at $1,218.70 an ounce on the spot market, near a five-week low.
Finance ministers from the 19-nation euro area are working on a statement pledging the goal of an extension to Greece’s rescue agreement, according to four euro-region officials who asked not to be named because the talks are continuing. The issue will be taken up again at a meeting Feb. 16. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.3 percent to near a 15-year high in New York as Apple Inc. shares jumped to a fresh record, while U.S. energy stocks fell amid a retreat in oil.
“Markets hate uncertainty, and Greece potentially leaving the EU was a very uncertain event,” Peter Tuz, who helps manage more than $450 million as president of Chase Investment Counsel Corp. in Charlottesville, Virginia, said by phone. “This puts the cork in that bottle now for at least a while, and the market is reacting accordingly. It certainly quells fears in the near term.”
The dollar was little changed in early Thursday trading at 120.42 yen, after gaining as much as 0.9 percent Wednesday to 120.48, its strongest level since Jan. 5. Yen-denominated Nikkei 225 futures climbed 1.2 percent to 18,025 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, while the NZX 50 Index — the first major stock gauge to start trading in Asia — fell 0.3 percent.
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