Stocks climb, with Wall Street lifted by tech, bond yield retreat

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Equity markets climbed in Europe and the United States, with Wall Street buoyed by a rebound in technology shares off two-month lows and as long-dated U.S. Treasury yields pulled back from multi-year highs.

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Stock markets in Asia and Europe trimmed earlier losses after a four-day selloff that had pushed shares in Asia to a 17-month low and knocked European shares to six-month lows.

Ongoing worries about a standoff between the European Union and Italy over the country’s budget had pushed Italian borrowing costs to their highest since 2014 and weighed on the euro, while Treasury yields hovered at seven-year highs.

The Chinese yuan steadied near a seven-week low against the greenback as a liquidity squeeze in the offshore market for renminbi in Hong Kong helped stabilize sentiment.

“The rise in U.S. yields is much more important” to the day’s foreign exchange trading than Italy’s fiscal problems, said Thomas Flury, head of currency strategy at UBS Global Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office in Zurich.

“The market needs to digest this to see whether it’s a long-term spike.”

MSCI’s index of stock markets across the globe traded flat after paring losses, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.33 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13.81 points, or 0.05 percent, to 26,493.40. The S&P 500 gained 2.97 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,887.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 26.47 points, or 0.35 percent, to 7,761.86.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

“Techs actually right now are strong today. That was weighing on the market and when that turned around that helped drive the market higher this morning,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading, in Chatham, New Jersey.

“People are nervous and worried about growth. The IMF had the growth forecast going lower. But interest rates are going up because of the growth. That’s a good thing,” Saluzzi said.

The International Monetary Fund cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, saying trade tensions and import tariffs were taking a toll on commerce while emerging markets struggled with tighter financial conditions and capital outflows.

U.S. long-dated Treasury yields slipped from multi-year highs in choppy trading as investors took a breather from selling last week. Those sales had come on fears inflation might accelerate and prompt the Federal Reserve to hasten the pace of interest rate hikes.

The bond market was closed on Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last rose 1/32 in price to yield 3.22 percent. The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond rose 6/32 in price to pull the yield down to 3.38 percent.

The dollar index rose 0.01 percent, with the euro down 0.06 percent to $1.1483. The dollar fell 0.09 percent to 113.10 yen.

Oil prices rose on evidence of falling crude exports from key producer Iran, before the imposition of new U.S. sanctions and a partial shutdown in the Gulf of Mexico because of Hurricane Michael.

U.S. crude rose 0.75 percent to $74.85 per barrel and Brent was last at $84.76, up 1.01 percent on the day.

Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Source Reuters

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