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Stocks, US yields gain ahead of Fed chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech

NEW YORK/LONDON : Global equity markets and U.S. Treasury yields rose on Tuesday as positive U.S. vaccination news lifted sentiment, and as investors grew less worried the Federal Reserve was set to announce a timetable for tapering stimulus measures.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is to speak on Friday at the Fed's annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Last week, investors were worried the Fed was edging closer to tapering, or winding down its bond-buying program, but now they are much less confident Powell's speech will indicate such a timeline.

Benchmark 10-year yields rose two and a half basis points to 1.2969per cent. The yields are in a range after falling from a one-month high of 1.379per cent on Aug. 12, while holding above a six-month low of 1.127per cent reached earlier this month.

"I can't see a shift in monetary policy in the next two to three months", said Mikael Jacoby, head of continental European sales trading at Oddo Securities in Paris.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, rose another 0.57per cent after its 1.1per cent gain on Monday, setting it on a recovery course after last week's selloff.

In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 was broadly flat, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rallied 2.41per cent, with Chinese stocks rebounding after being hit by regulatory worries last week.

Spiking COVID-19 infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant have fuelled concerns about the recovery, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval on Monday to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc, raising hopes inoculations could accelerate.

All three major U.S. stock indexes advanced higher, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closing at all-time closing highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.09per cent to 35,366.26, the S&P 500 gained 0.15per cent to 4,486.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.52per cent, to 15,019.80.[.N]

The dollar eased further as risk-related currencies benefited from rising commodity prices and markets digested data showing the U.S. economy in strong recovery mode.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.135per cent to 92.868.

Oil prices rose 3per cent, supported after Mexico suffered a large production outage due to a fire on an oil platform and also by full U.S. regulatory approval of vaccines for COVID-19.

Brent crude oil futures settled up US$2.30, or 3.4per cent, at US$71.05 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained US$1.90, or 2.9per cent, to settle at US$67.54.

Gold consolidated above US$1,800 as some investors bet the recent surge in COVID-19 cases could steer the Fed away from announcing plans to taper.

Spot gold settled at US$1,802.8199 per ounce, down 0.13per cent while U.S. gold futures gained 0.04per cent to US$1,803.2.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York and Julien Ponthus in London; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio)

Source: Reuters

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