A tree sits atop two cars in wake of Hurricane Irma. Photo: Reuters/Gregg Newton

Earlier estimates of a $200 billion insurance bill for Hurricane Irma faded into a mere $50 billion, and insurance stocks led a global rally in response. In the EuroStoxx 600 Index, insurers were up more than 2% as of 1:30 p.m. local time, followed by financial services (+1.55%).

Germany’s Muencher Rueckversicherung, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, soared 3.8%, while Swiss Re was up 4% and other Swiss insurers up by 2%. US bond yields rose sharply (by 5 basis points on the 10-year) as investors removed risk hedges, and banks rallied along with higher rates.