US stocks rally as gold surges

March 14th, 2008 - 7:20 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 14 (DPA) US stocks rallied Thursday and gold reached $1,000 per ounce as analysts predicted that write downs related to sub-prime loans were nearing an end. Financial shares were helped by a Standard and Poor’s prediction that banks had nearly finished their write downs on securities tied to the loans to borrowers with poor credit that have helped push up defaults and hurt the US economy, Bloomberg financial news reported.

Earlier, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had laid out details of a government plan to place further regulations on the mortgage industry to crackdown on suspect lending practices.

But a majority of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal said Thursday the US economy has already fallen into a recession.

“The evidence is now beyond a reasonable doubt,” Scott Anderson of the bank Wells Fargo told the newspaper. Anderson was among the 71 percent of 55 economists asked to assess the state of the economy who agreed it is already in recession.

Mining shares were pushed up by the surging gold price and energy were boosted by record oil prices.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35.50 points, or 0.29 percent, to 12,145.74. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 6.71 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,308.77. The high-tech Nasdaq composite index was up 19.74 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,263.61.

The US currency reached a new record low against the euro of 63.99 euro cents from 64.29 euro cents Wednesday, and against the Japanese currency to 100.44 yen from 101.53 yen.

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