Bonds sold off and stocks and futures rallied as investors focused on the prospects of a stronger-than-expected recovery and the Federal Reserve’s pledges of prolonged support. Commodities advanced.
The 10-year Treasury yield climbed to the highest in a year, while Japan’s longer-dated benchmarks rose to multiyear records. Australian yields jumped despite the central bank buying bonds for the second time this week to defend its three-year yield target. Stocks rose across the region, led by a surge in South Korean shares. European futures pointed higher. S&P 500 contracts were little changed after the benchmark closed higher despite weakness in tech shares.
Crude oil remained close to a one-year peak as traders see supply tightening with demand returning. Base metals advanced on the recovery optimism, with copper and aluminum both spiking to the highest since 2011. The dollar was little changed.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell pushed back on inflation concerns in his second day of Congressional testimony, and Vice Chair Richard Clarida said he sees the central bank maintaining its current pace of bond purchases for the rest of the year. The equity market is focusing on the benefits to corporate earnings of a post-pandemic surge in economic activity, while mindful that higher inflation and interest rates could dent the appeal of stocks.
“Owners of risk assets should breathe a sigh of relief that the Fed will not disrupt an environment benefiting from very low discount rates on their investments, and consequently some of the recent market volatility is likely to moderate from here,” said Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income.
Adding to the optimism, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine was overwhelmingly effective against the virus in a study that followed nearly 1.2 million people in Israel. Public-health experts said the results show that immunisations could end the pandemic.
Elsewhere, Bitcoin climbed back above $50 000 after a plunge earlier this week.
Some key events to watch this week:
- Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 will meet virtually Friday. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be among the attendees.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% as of 7:25 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 Index rose 1.1%.
- Topix index jumped 1.2%.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.8%.
- Kospi index advanced 3.5%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.3%.
- Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6%.
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures climbed 0.5%.
- The yen traded at 106.05 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan traded at 6 4513 per dollar.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
- The euro was at $1 2169, little changed.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries jumped four basis points to 1.42%.
- Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose 12 basis points to 1.73%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5% to $63.52 a barrel.
- Gold fell 0.7% to $1 793 an ounce.