GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks climb, yields fall as data supports view of rate cuts

   2024-03-01 16:03

Global stock indexes rose and Treasury yields fell on Friday as weaker-than-expected U.S. data underscored investor expectations of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in the coming months. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Friday that its manufacturing PMI fell to 47.8 last month from 49.1 in January. It was the 16th straight month that the PMI remained below 50, which indicates contraction in manufacturing.

The Nasdaq was higher, a day after the index closed at a record high, spurred by gains in artificial intelligence-linked stocks such as chip designer Nvidia and others. “We saw a slew of economic data this week that kind of confirmed that inflation is under control but the (U.S.) economy is probably a little stronger than expected,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Markets like that… I’ll call it the best of both worlds right now with slowing inflation and a decent economy.” Thursday’s U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report came in in-line with expectations on Thursday and showed annual inflation growth was the smallest in three years.

Eurostat figures published on Friday showed inflation across the 20-nation euro zone also eased to 2.6% in February from 2.8% a month earlier. Economists polled by Reuters expect the U.S. economy to grow by 2.1% this year and the euro zone to advance by 0.5%.

Global factory surveys on Friday showed manufacturing output had continued to fall in both Europe and Asia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.71 points, or 0.10%, to 39,035.19, the S&P 500 gained 19.22 points, or 0.38%, to 5,115.49 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 81.28 points, or 0.50%, to 16,171.95.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose 3.90 points, or 0.51%, to 765.18. The Europe’s STOXX 600 index rose 0.65%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei index jumped 1.9% to hit a fresh all-time high, extending a surge of 7.9% the previous month when it breached levels last seen in 1989.

The dollar gained against the Japanese yen after Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor Kazuo Ueda said it was too soon to declare victory on inflation, but the dollar was down against the euro. In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin held just below a more than two-year high reached on Wednesday.

Bitcoin was last up 0.7% at $61,840, after reaching $63,933 on Wednesday, which was the highest since November 2021. The dollar was last up 0.1% at 150.11 yen. The dollar index fell 0.2% to 103.89. The euro gained 0.3% to $1.0837.

Investors also were digesting comments on Friday from Fed Governor Christopher Waller, who said the Fed’s upcoming decisions about the ultimate size of its balance sheet has no bearing on the central bank’s inflation fight or changes to its policy interest rate. The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes fell 6.8 basis points to 4.184%, from 4.252% late on Thursday, while the 2-year note yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, fell 11.5 basis points to 4.5313%, from 4.646% late on Thursday.

U.S. crude gained 1.62% to $79.54 a barrel and Brent rose to $83.13 per barrel, up 1.49% to on the day. Spot gold added 0.71% to $2,057.79 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York, Naomi Rovnick in London and Stella Qiu in Sydney; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Josie Kao)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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