Dec 12, 2012, 08.44 AM IST
Shares on major markets rose to near a two-month high and the euro gained versus the US dollar on Tuesday after German investor sentiment improved sharply in December and on cautious optimism the United States will avoid a fiscal crisis.
The US dollar weakened as investors steered clear of the currency before a Federal Reserve policy announcement at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday. US Treasury prices fell as gains in stocks eroded safe-haven demand for government debt.
Major US stock indexes advanced, led by gains in technology shares. The S&P500 index reached its best levels since mid-October, helping the index end at its best level since the US presidential election day on November 6.
US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said he remained hopeful that both sides would reach a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts by the end-of-year deadline. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it will be difficult for Congress to reach agreement before Christmas.
"There's been a real explosion in anxiety over this thing. Because markets have become the way they are, you've got people just stepping back," said James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
"There's a tremendous absence of liquidity in the market," he said.
The lack of demonstrable progress has kept investors from making aggressive bets in recent weeks. But stocks have steadily marched higher on thin volume.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 78.56 points, or 0.60 percent, to end at 13,248.44. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 9.29 points, or 0.65 percent, to close at 1,427.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 35.34 points, or 1.18 percent, to 3,022.30.
A 2.2 percent gain to USD 541.39 in Apple's
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