Bonds Rise Amid Data, Fed; S&P 500 Futures Decline: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) —Bonds rallied amid lingering inflation concerns even after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested weak readings won’t persist. U.S. equity futures fell after a report that investigators are probing whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
Australian bonds followed a rally in Treasuries as data showed U.S. consumer prices excluding volatile food and fuel had the smallest year-over-year gain since May 2015. Yellen reiterated the Fed’s intention to raise rates as data improve. Asian stocks retreated with S&P 500 futures after the Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump, citing unnamed sources. The Aussie dollar jumped after an encouraging jobs report, while oil traded near the lowest since November.
The Fed’s actions and words struck a careful balance between showing resolve to continue tightening in response to falling unemployment while acknowledging the persistence of unexpectedly low inflation this year. Policy makers agreed to raise their benchmark lending rate for the third time in six months, maintained their outlook for one more hike in 2017 and set out some details for how they intend to shrink their $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year.
Here are the key events investors will be watching this week:
Central banks in Japan, Switzerland, Indonesia and Britain are also scheduled to weigh in with policy decisions this week. France reports on inflation and the U.K. releases retail sales data.Here are the major movers:
S&P 500 futures dropped 0.3 percent as of 10:43 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge fell 0.1 percent on Wednesday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq indexes retreated 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher to a fresh record, led by gains in Home Depot Inc. and Travelers Cos. Japan’s Topix declined 0.6 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.8 percent while the Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.2 percent.
The yen was little changed at 109.54 per dollar, after climbing 0.5 percent Wednesday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell less than 0.1 percent. The Australian dollar jumped 0.5 percent after employment rose 42,000 in May, above estimates for an increase of 10,000. The New Zealand dollar fell 0.3 percent after data showed GDP expanded 0.5 percent in the first quarter. Economists estimated a 0.7 percent increase.
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose one basis point to 2.14 percent, after dropping 8.5 basis points Wednesday to 2.13 percent, the lowest level since November. Australian benchmark yields lost 4 basis points to 2.36 percent, paring steeper declines after the jobs report.
West Texas crude futures fell 0.2 percent to $44.66 a barrel after dropping 3.7 percent the previous session. The U.S. government reported gasoline and other petroleum product stockpiles swelled last month. Gold rebounded 0.4 percent to $1,266.20 an ounce, after sliding 0.5 percent the previous day.
–With assistance from Jeremy Herron.To contact the reporter on this story: Garfield Reynolds in Sydney at email@example.com To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Sutherland