US Treasury Yields Fall Ahead Of Fed Minutes, World Shares Rise

Global equities rose yesterday while US Treasury yields fell as investors awaited the release of the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes for clues on US interest rates and as China’s Covid-19 restrictions weighed on sentiment.

The Fed will release minutes of its November policy meeting today, offering a glimpse of how officials view economic conditions.

In China, authorities in Beijing shut parks and museums. In Shanghai rules were tightened for people entering the city as the country grapples with a spike in Covid cases, sparking worries about its impact on the economy.

“People are going to be poring over word-for-word those minutes to see if it will tilt towards the Fed’s official statement versus what Powell’s press conference implied, which was that they are not going to be looking at cumulative effect in considering when to stop this tightening,” said Tom Plumb, portfolio manager at Plumb Balanced Fund in Madison, Wisconsin.

The MSCI All-World index of shares rose 1.18 per cent, while European shares .STOXX gained 0.73 per cent.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were down to 3.7634 per cent while the yield on the 30-year note fell to 3.8325 per cent.

On Wall Street, all three main indexes closed higher led by gains in technology, energy, healthcare, financials, and consumer discretionary.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.18 per cent to 34,098.1, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.36 per cent to 4,003.58 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.36 per cent to 11,174.41.

“We’re seeing technology, consumer discretionary and energy leading downside momentum while consumer staples stocks leading the upside, these are signs of investors positioning for a downturn,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital in Los Angeles, California.

The US dollar retreated across the board, ceding some of the ground gained in the previous session, as investors looked past worries about China’s Covid flare-ups, boosting demand for more risky currencies. The dollar index fell 0.566 per cent, with the euro up 0.58 per cent to US$1.03.

Crude prices rose about 1 per cent after Saudi Arabia said Opec+ was sticking with output cuts and could take further steps to balance the market.

Brent crude rose 1 per cent to settle at US$88.36 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 1.1 per cent at US$80.95.

Safe-haven gold prices steadied above last session’s low as a retreat in the dollar and benchmark US Treasury yields was offset by a rise in equities.

Spot gold added 0.1 per cent to US$1,740.19 an ounce, while US gold futures gained 0.23 per cent to US$1,738.30 an ounce. — Reuters

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