U.S. stocks rebound after rout, bond yields dip

The New York Stock Exchange is pictured in New York
·3 min read

By Koh Gui Qing

NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S. shares rebounded on Thursday after falling for three consecutive days and benchmark Treasury yields dipped, as investors snapped up stocks that would benefit from an economic recovery and shrugged off worries about rising prices, for now.

After posting their biggest slump in at least 11 weeks on Wednesday, U.S. shares bounced back as investors flush with cash looked past concerns that accelerating inflation may prompt interest rate hikes sooner, and deployed their funds once more.

So intent were investors on leaving inflation worries aside that financial markets barely responded to Thursday's data, which showed U.S. producer prices posting their biggest annual gain since 2010 in April.

"It's rebound Thursday," said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Private Bank, which manages $20 billion in assets. "Given the money on the sidelines, investors are going to be coming back in."

Still, Augustine said investors should redeploy their funds in a measured way as "inflation concerns are not going away".

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 1.3%, the S&P 500 rose 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7%.

Gains were led by shares in small-cap companies, chip makers and transportation providers - businesses that stand to gain as the United States emerges from the pandemic recession. [.N]

The bounce in U.S. stocks lifted the MSCI world equity index, which tracks 50 countries, by 0.3%.

Wall Street had tumbled earlier this week after data showed U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly jumped by the most in almost 12 years in April.

Some investors now worry that quickening price pressures could lead the U.S. Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy sooner than expected, reducing its supply of cheap money that has propelled financial markets higher.

For now, however, inflation woes took a backseat.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields, which spiked 7 basis points overnight in the biggest daily rise in two months, fell by nearly 4 basis points to 1.6556% as investors took a breather.

Benchmark two-year Treasury yields also pulled back to 0.1569%. [US/]

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar was steady at 90.718, largely holding on to gains eked out on Wednesday, when expectations of rate hikes burnished the currency's appeal.

A firm dollar capped gains in the euro, which edged up 0.1% to $1.20805. [USD/]

The pullback in Treasury yields helped gold to recoup some of its previous day's losses, when rising bond yields dampened the allure of non-yielding bullion. Spot gold climbed 0.6% from a one-week low to $1,826.71 per ounce. [GOL/]

A recent rally in oil prices also paused on Thursday as investors turned their attention to the coronavirus crisis in India, and as the top U.S. fuel pipeline network resumed operations. [O/R]

Brent crude slumped 3.4% to $66.98 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 3.5% to $63.78 a barrel.

Among cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, which tumbled 13% overnight when Elon Musk said Tesla Inc would stop accepting it as payment because of its high energy use, skidded again on Thursday following reports that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating crypto exchange Binance.

By Thursday evening, bitcoin had dropped 0.7% to $48.965.

(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing in New York; additional reporting by Tom Wilson and Marc Jones in London, Wayne Cole in Sydney; Editing by Dan Grebler, Cynthia Osterman and Jonathan Oatis)

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