Global shares, U.S. yields rise as investors eye rates, earnings
By Chibuike Oguh
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Global equity markets and Treasury yields rose on Monday as investors braced for interest rate decisions from key central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, as well as corporate earnings that may shed light on the state of the economy.
An overwhelming majority of traders expect the Fed to raise rates by 25 basis points at its policy meeting this week, according to CME Group data, helping to revive concerns of a looming recession following resilient U.S. economic growth.
The European Central Bank is also expected to maintain a hawkish stance when it meets this week, while the Bank of Japan is expected to keep its super-loose monetary policy intact after its meeting.
The yields on 10-year notes were at 3.874%, rebounding from an early session decline, while the rate-sensitive two-year yields were up at 4.8917%.
Yet, markets are also anticipating buoyant results from major U.S. companies including Alphabet Inc, Meta Platforms Inc, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp, whose performance has mostly underpinned the nearly 19% year-to-date gain in the benchmark S&P 500.
“The most over-used phrase in this industry is ‘cautiously optimistic’ but that is where we are,” said Tom Plumb, portfolio manager at Plumb Balanced Fund.
“We still think that in general the economy is going to be growing but there will be continued rolling recessions of segments of the economy, which is really healthy because it tends to lead to significant long-term bull markets,” Plumb said.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, was up 0.21%, while European stocks added just 0.06%.
On Wall Street, the three main indexes closed higher, led by gains in financial, consumer discretionary, technology and energy stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.52% to 35,411.24, the S&P 500 gained 0.40% to 4,554.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.19% to 14,058.87.
“The consensus is for the Fed to raise by 25 basis points and then some more indication that they could be at the end. We don’t have much insight that it would be different but if it is, then it would dramatically increase the volatility of markets,” Plumb added.
The U.S. dollar edged up against major currencies after economic data continued to show the resilience of the American economy compared to its peers.
The purchasing managers’ survey showed on Monday that U.S. business activity slowed to a five-month low in July, dragged down by decelerating service sector growth, but the data was better than similar surveys out of Europe. The dollar index rose 0.297%, with the euro down 0.56% to $1.1061.
Oil prices rose by more than 2% to a near three-month high buoyed by tightening supply, rising U.S. gasoline demand, hopes for Chinese stimulus measures and technical buying.
Brent futures rose 2.1% to settle at $82.74 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.1%, to settle at $78.74.
Prices of safe-haven gold were choppy as the dollar advanced. Spot gold dropped 0.3% to $1,954.50 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.06% to $1,960.30 an ounce.
(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Sharon Singleton, Nick Macfie and Cynthia Osterman)