Stock Markets, Business, Stocks & Banking

Stock Markets, Business

Global equities rise as US bond yield fears ease

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sets a record high, rising 1.35% on Wednesday, February 24

2/25/2021 4:24:00 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sets a record high, rising 1.35% on Wednesday, February 24.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sets a record high, rising 1.35% on Wednesday, February 24

ReutersA gauge of global equity markets rose on Wednesday, February 24, after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said interest rates will remain low, calming market jitters sparked by a jump in United States Treasury yields on fears that a robust recovery would drive inflation higher.

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Sales of new US single-family homes increased more than expected in January as the median sale price rose 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, the latest data to show certain consumer prices are rising faster than expected.Crude oil rose more than 2% to fresh 13-month highs while gold prices struggled for traction as elevated Treasury yields eroded the allure of bullion as an inflation hedge.

The dollar slid to multi-year lows against the pound and commodity-linked currencies including the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand dollars, as they are expected to benefit from a pickup in global trade as world growth rebounds.MSCI's all-country world index, a gauge of equity markets in 49 countries, added 0.30%, as rising stocks on Wall Street pushed the global benchmark to reverse early losses.

Progress in the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, which was boosted by news that Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine appeared safe and effective, has increased economic optimism but also inflation concerns, said Patrick Leary, chief market strategist and senior trader at Incapital in Minneapolis.

"If you look at commodity prices, you look at real estate prices, and you look at energy prices, they're up significantly higher than even pre-pandemic levels," Leary said.In testimony before the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Powell reiterated the Fed's promise to get the American economy back to full employment and to not worry about inflation unless prices rise in a persistent and troubling way.

While rising yields give stock investors pause, the Fed is"pretty comfortable" with them as they take some of the froth out of the financial system, Leary said.The 10-year US Treasury note rose almost 1 basis point to yield 1.3722% after hitting 1.435% earlier. The benchmark Treasury yield traded at 0.912% at the end of 2020.

The sliding of 10-year Treasury yields below the 1.4% mark helped equity markets rebound from early losses, but the rotation out of technology stocks continued, with Amazon and Apple leading Wall Street lower. In Europe, the tech sector has lost nearly 4% this week.

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