Global stocks, US yields recoup some losses; dollar falls

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei led declines with an over 3 per cent drop and dipped below 28,000 for the first time in a month, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.2 per cent. — Reuters pic
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei led declines with an over 3 per cent drop and dipped below 28,000 for the first time in a month, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.2 per cent. — Reuters pic

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WASHINGTON, June 22 ― US stocks were higher yesterday and global stocks advanced in choppy trade after hitting a four-week low earlier in the session, with investors still digesting last week's surprise hawkish shift by the US Federal Reserve.

The US dollar retreated from Friday's 10-week high. Yields on 10-year Treasuries turned higher after sliding overnight to a four-month low of 1.354 per cent. But the benchmark note was still trading well below its recent mid-point range of about 1.6 per cent after traders reacted to Federal Reserve expectations for a rate hike.

Shares of banks, energy firms and other companies that tend to be sensitive to the economy's fluctuations were higher, recovering some losses after have fallen sharply since the Fed's meeting on Wednesday, when the central bank caught investors off guard by anticipating two quarter-percentage-point rate increases in 2023.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.45 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 1 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2 per cent by 10.31am EDT (1431 GMT).

“Bulls are attempting to regroup this morning after last Friday's plunge,” Paul Hickey of Bespoke Investment Group said in a market note.

Stocks in Asia took their cue from Wall Street's falls on Friday but European shares bucked the trend, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.6 per cent.

“The situation in reality is actually pretty good ― the Fed is stabilising inflation,” said Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management in Luxembourg. “Cyclical sectors may have overshot the market in the short term and so you may have a bit of pressure on the sector.”

Galy noted the “interesting part” of the correction was that it lagged as traders digested the news.

MSCI's All Country World Index, which tracks shares across 49 countries, was up 0.5 per cent after hitting its lowest since May 24.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei led declines with an over 3 per cent drop and dipped below 28,000 for the first time in a month, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.2 per cent.

The US dollar index was down 0.4 per cent, off Friday's 10-week high of 92.408, following its biggest weekly advance in more than a year.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard further fueled the sell-off on Friday by saying the shift toward faster policy tightening was a “natural” response to economic growth and particularly inflation moving quicker than anticipated as the country reopens from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We believe there is a limit to how much more hawkish the Fed can be given its inflation projections relative to the catch-up rates range,” BlackRock analysts said in a note.

“Our bottom line: We believe the Fed’s new outlook will not translate into significantly higher policy rates any time soon.”

Several Fed officials have speaking duties this week, including Chair Jerome Powell, who testifies before Congress today. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde speaks before the European Parliament yesterday.

The euro was up 0.46 per cent to US$1.1915 (RM4.93). Sterling recovered some ground, to trade 0.9 per cent higher after sliding to its lowest since April 16.

Commodity-linked currencies have also suffered, with the Australian dollar hovering above a six-month low at US$0.7495.

A stronger greenback has pressured cryptocurrencies, too, with bitcoin falling 7.7 per cent, while smaller rival ether lost 11 per cent.

In commodities, gold rebounded 1.0 per cent to US$1,781.41 an ounce yesterday, looking to snap a six-day losing streak, but remained near the lowest since early May.

Copper continued to fall yesterday, hitting its lowest level since mid-April after moves by China to rein in commodities price rallies and signals from the US Federal Reserve it will tighten monetary policy sooner than expected. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.8 per cent at US$9,070 a tonne in official trading, after touching US$9,011.

Crude oil rose, underpinned by strong demand during the summer driving season and a pause in talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal that could indicate a delay in resumption of supplies from the Opec producer. Brent crude futures rose to US$74.48 a barrel, up 1.32 per cent on the day, as Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 1.9 per cent to US$73. ― Reuters

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