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Wall Street ends lower as bond yields jump on growth concerns

Wall Street ends lower as bond yields jump on growth concerns

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

WASHINGTON : Wall Street ended the day lower in a choppy trading day on Monday, while U.S. Treasury yields jumped as investors juggled strong earnings with what Russia's invasion of Ukraine could mean for global growth.

A significant cut to global growth expectations from the World Bank, paired with March weakness in China's latest economic numbers injected some pessimism into U.S. markets, which opened Monday following a holiday-shortened previous week.

But a strong quarterly earnings report from Bank of America offset some of that concern, as investors prepared for more major corporate earnings reports this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.11per cent, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.02per cent and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.14per cent.

Markets were closed in Australia, Hong Kong and many parts of Europe for the Easter holiday.

The World Bank announced it was cutting its global growth forecast for 2022 by nearly a full percentage point due to the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The organization now expects economic growth of 3.2per cent this year, down from a prior 4.1per cent forecast.

China also reported that its economy slowed in March as consumption, real estate and exports were hit hard, worsening an outlook already weakened by COVID-19 curbs and the Ukraine war.

"Stocks continued to search for sustained upside momentum amid high inflation readings, interest rates on the rise, and dashed hopes for a cease fire in Ukraine," said Chris Larkin, managing director at E*TRADE.

OIL, BOND YIELDS SURGE

Oil prices closed over 1per cent higher, boosted by concerns over tight global supply amid the Ukraine crisis.

Those concerns were amplified after Libya's National Oil Corp said a "painful wave" of closures were impacting its facilities, offsetting any concerns about reduced demand from a locked down China.

"With global supplies now so tight, even the most minor disruption is likely to have an outsized impact on prices," said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at brokerage OANDA.

Brent crude settled 1.3per cent higher at $113.16 a barrel after earlier hitting $114.84, its highest since March 28. U.S. crude ended up 1.2per cent at $108.21 per barrel.

The looming prospect of aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve helped push U.S. Treasury yields to three-year highs while boosting other safe havens.

The Fed is now expected to hike rates by 50 basis points at its May and June meetings, at least, as it looks to contain rapid inflation. Fed funds futures traders are expecting the Fed’s benchmark rate to rise to 1.28per cent in June and to 2.67per cent next February, from 0.33per cent now.

"Despite nascent signs that inflation could be easing and hawkish Fed bets being trimmed, a 50bps rate hike for May looks all but locked in," wrote Deutsche Bank analysts in a note.

The benchmark 10-year note was last 2.8373per cent, after previously hitting 2.884per cent earlier on Monday, the highest since December 2018.

Concerns over economic fallout helped push gold prices to a one-month high Monday, with safe-haven spot gold last up 0.14per cent to $1,977.35 an ounce.

The dollar also got a boost as a safe haven, with the dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, was up 0.47per cent.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Marguerita Choy)

Source: Reuters

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