The euro slumped against the dollar on the prospect of negative deposit rates after the European Central Bank cut interest rates to an all-time low on Thursday, a move that along with U.S. economic data lifted Wall Street stocks.
The ECB lowered its main rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.50 percent, its first cut in 10 months, and pledged as much liquidity as euro zone banks need well into next year.
The cut was widely expected after ECB President Mario Draghi said last month that the bank stood ready to act. But the euro fell after Draghi said the central bank is technically ready for negative deposit rates.
The euro slid as low as USD 1.3062, according to Reuters data, and was last at USD 1.3085, down 0.7 percent on the day.
If negative deposit rates were adopted, euro zone banks would have to pay to deposit money at the central bank, giving them an incentive to lend money rather than hoard it.
Equities rose on the view the world's biggest central banks, including the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, are trying to encourage economic growth through bond-buying programs that have pushed interest rates to historic lows.
"You've got the Fed still in stimulus mode and Japan surprising markets with the size of their latest stimulus package. Now you have the ECB cutting rates," said Todd Salamone, director of research at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati.
"It all adds to the theme that global central banks are in a stimulus mode and that is positive for equities," Salamone said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50.89 points, or 0.35 percent, at 14,751.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 6.17 points, or 0.39 percent, at 1,588.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 17.87 points, or 0.54 percent, at 3,316.99.
Stocks also rose on news the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell sharply last week to its lowest level since the early days of the 2007-09 recession, suggesting the job market is still healing despite a still weak economy.
Other data showed a narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit in March, although drops in imports and exports provided a warning about the strength of domestic and foreign demand.
Leading European shares, as measured by the FTSEurofirst 300 index, clawed back into positive territory after having spent most of the morning in the red. The index was up 0.1 percent at 1202.72.
MSCI's all-country world index also pared losses and was flat.
US Treasuries prices weakened further on news of the U.S. jobless claims, with the benchmark 10-year note falling 3/32 in price to yield 1.6408 percent.
Oil rose above $100 a barrel as some investors saw this week's price slide as overdone, although ample supply and concerns about the outlook for demand due to shaky economic growth limited the rally.
Brent crude rose 62 cents to USD 100.57 a barrel after trading as low as USD 99.51. U.S crude was 68 cents higher at USD 91.71 a barrel.
READ MORE ON European Central Bank , euro slumped, ECB President Mario Draghi, negative deposit rates, Bank of Japan, Federal Reserve, Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Salamone, FTSEurofirst 300 index, US Treasuries prices , Brent crude
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