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US: Wall Street rallies to another record finish as oil rises


[NEW YORK] Wall Street rose to record closing levels on all three major US stock indices on Monday, as equities resumed their post-election upward trend driven in part by spiking energy shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.5 per cent at 18,956.69. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 per cent to close at 2,198.18. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 0.9 per cent at 5,368.86.

The major US indices have rallied since this month's presidential elections, hitting successive records on investor expectations that the incoming administration will loosen regulations and implement business-friendly policies. Investors have pumped capital into financials and tech stocks.

Hopes production limits will be announced Tuesday by oil producing countries sent oil prices northward, with a barrel of WTI light, sweet crude closing up US$1.88 in New York.

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The strong gains on the oil markets were clearly welcome on Wall Street, where Marathon Petroleum jumped 8.9 per cent, ConocoPhillips gained 3.6 per cent, Exxon Mobil rose 1.4 per cent and Chevron added 0.9 per cent.

Bill Lynch of Hinsdale Associates told AFP investor enthusiasm was an extension of last week's exuberance and also a result of optimism on the oil markets.

"What drove the market today is just momentum on the upside, the carryover of last week, and the fact oil prices are up today about four per cent on renewed optimism Opec will reach a deal to cut production by the end of the month," he said, referring to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

After disclosing a US$6 billion buyback on Friday, Facebook saw shares rise four per cent, while other major tech shares posted more modest increases. eBay and Google parent Alphabet each added 1.1 per cent while Microsoft gained 0.9 per cent.