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US: Dow crosses 22,000 landmark as dollar continues to tumble

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[NEW YORK] Strong Apple earnings propelled the Dow above 22,000 for the first time Wednesday, marking its sixth straight record close, while the dollar continued to tumble against the euro.

The blue-chip index smashed above the milestone at the open and stayed in positive territory the entire session, finishing at 22,016.24.

Apple was the biggest gainer in the index, rising 4.7 per cent after reporting better-than-expected earnings Tuesday and emphasizing its increased sales of digital content and services.

US stocks have risen to a succession of records over the last couple of weeks as second-quarter earnings have broadly bested expectations.

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Some observers say stocks could find it hard to score additional gains given the already-lofty valuations, but others still see more potential upside.

"What's going on is good earnings and at the end of the day, earnings drives the markets," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "It's been a pretty amazing season." But equity markets elsewhere were mixed, with disappointing earnings at banking giants Societe Generale and Commerzbank weighing on Paris and Frankfurt, respectively.

London also pulled back ahead of Thursday's Bank of England decision.

DOLLAR IN RETREAT

European bourses also were pressured by the rising value of the single currency against the dollar. The euro moved above US$1.19 for the first time since January 2015 before retreating somewhat.

"Investors continued to shun the (dollar) amid a backdrop of mounting dysfunction in Washington and mixed US economic data that have done little to encourage bets that the Fed will raise lending rates again this year," said Omer Esiner, analyst at Commonwealth FX.

Mr Kinahan said the sinking dollar was a potential hindrance to future US stock gains.

A move by the euro above US$1.20 would "cause significantly more worry," Mr Kinahan said, because it would signal a loss of faith that the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates.

That would suggest "that the economy is starting to slow down," he added.

A trigger for further losses in the greenback could come as soon as Friday if the US jobs report for July disappoints and is seen lessening the odds of additional Fed rate hikes.

AFP

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