By Mike Bird

European stocks opened higher Tuesday, the first major trading day of the new year, while the dollar strengthened against currencies around the world.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose by 0.64% shortly after markets opened.

In the U.S., S&P 500 futures rose 0.56% in early trading. Changes in equity futures don't necessarily reflect moves after the opening bell.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average index also climbed, rising by 0.56% to 19,838, closer to the 20,000 landmark that the index has flirted with for three weeks.

The U.S. dollar strengthened across the board. The Chinese yuan was fixed 0.2% lower against the dollar and the greenback gained 0.61% to 118.1 Japanese yen. The euro fell 0.45% to $1.042.

European banks--one of the biggest gainers from the rally at the end of 2016--were up by more than 1.3%.

"If the legal liabilities that have plagued banks are nearly over, the Italian banks are in the process of finally getting fixed and capital requirements are close to being met, we could see 2017 as the year of banks globally," said Said Haidar, CEO of Haidar Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund.

Yields on global sovereign bonds rose, with Germany's 10-year bund yields climbing to 0.23%, up from 0.19% on Monday. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields rose to 2.489% from 2.448% Monday.

Asian equity markets rose, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbing 0.68% in afternoon trading and South Korea's Kospi index up 0.88%. Japan's Nikkei 225 was closed for a holiday.

Write to Mike Bird at Mike.Bird@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 03, 2017 05:19 ET (10:19 GMT)

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