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Stocks, US yields climb after inflation data


Stocks, US yields climb after inflation data By Reuters

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Published Mar 11, 2024 10:36PM ET
Updated Mar 12, 2024 04:36PM ET

© Reuters. A passerby walks past in front of an electric screen displaying Japan’s Nikkei share average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan February 13, 2024. REUTERS/Issei Kato

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) -A gauge of global stocks was set to snap a two-session fall on Tuesday, rising along with Treasury yields after data showed U.S. inflation remained sticky in February, indicating the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates higher for longer than is currently expected.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4% last month amid higher costs for gasoline and shelter, the Labor Department said, matching the estimate of economists polled by Reuters, after climbing 0.3% in January.

In the 12 months through February, the CPI increased by 3.2%, just above the 3.1% estimate, after advancing 3.1% through January.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 registered another record high, buoyed in part by a surge in Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 235.83 points, or 0.61%, to 39,005.49, the S&P 500 gained 57.33 points, or 1.12%, to 5,175.27 and the Nasdaq Composite increased 246.36 points, or 1.54%, to 16,265.64.

U.S. Treasury yields also advanced after the data, with the yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes up 4.9 basis points to 4.153% after reaching a session high of 4.172% following a soft auction of $39 billion by the Treasury.

“The hotter inflation is an indication that the consumer is doing well, that there’s pricing power in this economy that companies are taking advantage of, and the other data tells us that it’s not hurting somewhat,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

“However, the bond market has to factor in what is the Fed’s reaction function going to be to a somewhat more robust economy. And that’s higher for longer and that’s where you have to have rates come up kind of across the board.”

The 2-year note yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, rose 5.9 basis points to 4.5925%.

Market expectations for the timing of the Fed’s first rate cut remained largely unchanged, pricing in a 69.8% chance of a cut of at least 25 basis points in June, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool, down from 71.7% in the prior session.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose 7.08 points, or 0.92%, to 775.85 following two straight declines. In Europe, the STOXX 600 index closed up 1% at a record, while the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 19.77 points, or 0.99%

The dollar also strengthened after the data. The dollar index gained 0.17% at 102.96, with the euro down 0.06% at $1.0919.

The Japanese yen weakened further against the greenback and was last off 0.5% against the greenback at 147.67 per dollar.

The yen had earlier softened against the dollar before the US inflation data after Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda gave a slightly bleaker assessment of the country’s economy than he had in January, dampening hopes the central bank might abandon its negative rate policy when it meets this month.

Sterling was down 0.16% at $1.279 after data showed UK wage growth cooled slightly more than expected last month, putting a bit more pressure on the Bank of England to cut rates sooner rather than later.

In commodities, U.S. crude settled down 0.47% to $77.56 a barrel and Brent settled down 0.35% to $81.92 per barrel, as the market weighed the inflation data and a higher-than-expected forecast for U.S. crude oil production.

Stocks, US yields climb after inflation data

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