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Markets

Stocks rise, U.S. yield falls; demand weighs on oil

  • Consumer prices are expected to run hotter in a couple of months when March and April of 2020, which saw very low inflation, fall off the yearly reading.
Published January 13, 2021

NEW YORK: Treasury yields fell on Wednesday after Federal Reserve officials steered clear of tightening monetary conditions any time soon despite expectations of higher inflation, while stocks edged higher and an inventory spike pressured oil prices lower.

The U.S. benchmark yield was on track to post its first full-session decline in 2021 even as a jump in gasoline pushed inflation higher last month.

Consumer prices are expected to run hotter in a couple of months when March and April of 2020, which saw very low inflation, fall off the yearly reading.

The climb in yields is expected to resume, partly due to a massive stimulus package from the incoming Joe Biden administration, which takes office on Jan. 20.

Several Fed policymakers pushed back against the idea of the Fed tapering its asset purchases any time soon, however.

Stocks edged up as Europe was boosted by deals and U.S. tech stocks were supported by a change of leadership at Intel , which jumped 8.2pc.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 66.94 points, or 0.22pc, to 31,135.63, the S&P 500 gained 14.25 points, or 0.37pc, to 3,815.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 86.81 points, or 0.66pc, to 13,159.24.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.11pc and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.40pc. Emerging market stocks rose 0.62pc.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.58pc higher, while Japan's Nikkei rose 1.04pc.

The U.S. dollar index rose for the fourth time in five sessions, still not far from near three-year lows hit last week.

The greenback has found support from expectations of a continued economic recovery in the United States, even as countries in Europe resort to lockdowns to fend off a second COVID-19 wave.

"You are seeing a continuance of the U.S. outperformance trade," said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

The dollar index rose 0.233pc, with the euro down 0.31pc to $1.2169.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.06pc versus the greenback at 103.80 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.3648, down 0.11pc on the day.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes last rose 16/32 in price to yield 1.0849pc, from 1.138pc late on Tuesday.

Oil prices fell as the threat of lower demand due to rising global COVID-19 cases outweighed support from a greater-than-anticipated drop in U.S. crude inventories.

"While I see crude prices trading higher over the coming months, investors need to be mindful that the road to higher oil demand and prices will remain bumpy," UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

U.S. crude recently fell 0.55pc to $52.92 per barrel and Brent was at $56.03, down 0.97pc on the day.

Spot gold added 0.1pc to $1,857.86 an ounce. Silver fell 0.21pc to $25.52.

Bitcoin last rose 2.27pc to $34,807.04.

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