NEW YORK: The dollar gained and global equities rallied on Wednesday, adding an upbeat note to an otherwise dismal third quarter that is the worst for many markets since 2011, on hope that the rout in commodities has run its course.
Major equity indexes around the world declined 10 percent or more from July through September as fears mounted of a global slowdown brought on by China. Slower Chinese growth also slammed commodity prices and countries that depend on their export.
European stocks turned in their worst quarter since the depths of the euro zone debt crisis four years ago, when regional indices such as the blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index slid 23.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011. The index rose 2.3 percent on Wednesday, but closed the quarter down 9.5 percent.
Still, analysts questioned the strength of the equity market's rally, which was helped by a Chinese tax cut on small cars aimed at reviving sales in the world's biggest auto market. Peugot rose 6.4 percent and Fiat Chrysler rose 4.8 percent in Europe.
Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey, said some people bought on the notion that the recent sell-off is over.
“You're starting to see some of the first real buying at what's really pretty dramatically reduced prices in some sectors," Meckler said.
“Whether it can hold, that's been the problem," he said. Major European indices rose more than 2 percent, and stocks on Wall Street jumped more than 1 percent. The FTSEuroFirst 300 index closed up 2.6 percent, while MSCI's all-country world index rose 1.6 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 178.79 points, or 1.11 percent, to 16,227.92.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 27.13 points, or 1.44 percent, to 1,911.22 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 84.09 points, or 1.86 percent, to 4,601.41.
The Nasdaq biotech index, which had skidded 13.5 percent over the past five days, rose 3.9 percent on Wednesday even as it posted a 19.8 loss for the quarter.
Shares in mining and trading firm Glencore, which plummeted on Monday along with commodity prices, jumped 14.1 percent after it sought to reassure investors over its debt. Its shares had risen 17 percent on Tuesday.
The dollar got a lift from American private-sector jobs data, which bolstered bets on a US interest rate hike by year's end, while the euro fell back on a report euro zone inflation had turned negative.
US private employers added 200,000 jobs in September, beating forecasts in a report that suggests jobs growth may be sufficient for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year, according to the ADP National Employment Report.
The dollar index, a basket of major trading partner currencies, rose 0.44 percent for the day and was on track for a 0.7 percent gain for the three months ending Wednesday.
The euro fell against the dollar by 0.6 percent to $1.1178.
Euro zone prices fell by 0.1 percent on an annual basis in September after rising 0.1 percent last month, feeding speculation the European Central Bank will expand or extend its bond buying as the Fed prepares to raise rates.
US government debt fell, but the market was limited as traders refrained from making major bets ahead of Friday's US non-farm payrolls report for September, which may influence the Fed's timeline for hiking interest rates.
The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note fell 2/32 in price to yield 2.0596 percent.
The yield on German Bunds were steady at 0.59 percent. Oil prices were mixed in volatile trade, with global benchmark Brent up on worries about Russian airstrikes in Syria but US crude down after data showed a surge in domestic inventories.
Brent crude settled 14 cents higher at $48.37 a barrel, while US crude fell 14 cents to settle at $45.09 a barrel.
Both indices slid 24 percent over the third quarter.
The Thomson Reuters Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodity prices pared gains to post a 0.10 percent rise, as the decline in US crude weighed on the index.
US gold futures for December delivery were down $12.00 an ounce at $1,114.80.