GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks at 6-month high, dollar drops on Fed

* Fed minutes, Intel results fan risk appetite

* MSCI benchmark stock index highest since mid April

* Dollar down as Fed seen easing; gold hits record high

By Walter Brandimarte and Natsuko Waki

NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 13 (BestGrowthStock) – World stocks hit a
six-month high while the dollar weakened on Wednesday on
expectations that the Federal Reserve will further loosen
monetary policy, boosting appetite for risk.

Gold surged almost 2 percent to a record above $1,372 an
ounce as investors sought protection against a sinking dollar.
Other commodities also rose, and oil prices climbed more than 2
percent.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September meeting on
Tuesday showed officials discussed the possibility of buying
more longer-term U.S. government debt to drive borrowing costs
lower and ways to nudge the public into expecting higher levels
of inflation in the future to spur spending.

“The Fed minutes certainly induced a rally right across the
board,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon
Partners in New York. “We are seeing the dollar lower, gold and
oil prices higher. That is adding risk flavor to the market.”

A number of strong corporate results also bolstered stock
markets, including an upbeat fourth-quarter sales and margins
forecast by Intel Corp (INTC.O: ).

MSCI’s benchmark All-Country World equity index
(.MIWD00000PUS: ) rose 1.4 percent on the day to hit its highest
level since mid-April.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 89.12
points, or 0.81 percent, to 11,109.52, while the Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) rose 8.95 points, or 0.77 percent, to
1,178.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was up 21.04
points, or 0.87 percent, at 2,438.96.

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top European shares
jumped 1.5 percent to a three-week high.

The prospect of a second round of U.S. quantitative easing,
which equates to printing more money, pushed the dollar toward
an eight-month low against the euro.

Dollar losses were limited, however, after the euro failed
again to hold above the key psychological $1.40 mark. The
dollar’s recovery accelerated after automatic buy orders were
triggered, traders said.

The euro (EUR=: ) was up 0.4 percent at $1.3970. It had
earlier risen as high as $1.4002 on trading platform EBS, not
far from its eight-month high of $1.4030 hit last week.

The dollar also posted losses against a basket of major
trading-partner currencies, with the U.S. Dollar Index (.DXY: )
down 0.26 percent. Against the Japanese yen, the greenback
(JPY=: ) dip 0.01 percent to 81.75.

GOLD HITS RECORD

Gold hit a record high at $1,372.20 an ounce, 1.62 percent
higher than Tuesday’s close, as the dollar weakened globally.

Gold prices have rallied nearly 25 percent so far this year
as investors turned to the metal as a haven from the effects of
an increasingly loose monetary policy in the United States.

“Because we are in a world of quantitative easing in the
developed economies, and as QE is almost synonymous with
competitive devaluation … gold and the precious metals (are)
taking on the function of an alternative currency,” said Ashok
Shah, chief investment officer at London and Capital.

U.S. crude oil rose 2.1 percent to $83.35 per barrel after
data showed China, which surpassed the United States as the
world’s biggest energy user, set a record 35 percent increase
in September crude oil imports from a year earlier.

U.S. Treasury prices fell on prospects the Fed could buy
long-dated bonds in a second round of monetary policy easing.

The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond (US30YT=RR: ) was down 22/32,
with the yield at 3.86 percent.

German government bond prices fell after European Central
Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber said Europe’s economy
was on the road to recovery, and that the bank could raise
interest rates even as it kept support measures in place. The
bund future fell 64 ticks.

Weber’s comments highlighted policy differences in the
United States and the euro zone, supporting the euro.

“In the G4 space, the ECB is the only central bank that is
talking of an exit policy and that is helping the euro,” said
Ankita Dudani, G10 currency strategist at RBS.
(Additional reporting by Amanda Cooper in London; Chuck
Mikolajczak and Wanfeng Zhou in New York; Editing by Padraic
Cassidy)

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks at 6-month high, dollar drops on Fed