(Bloomberg) — Stocks and U.S. futures were steady as investors weighed prospects for economic growth against inflation worries ahead of testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Oil retreated.
Contracts on U.S. equity gauges were little changed after the S&P 500 Index’s biggest jump in a month. In Europe, declines in shares of carmakers and health-care offset gains in commodity sectors. A gauge of Asian equities rose the most in about three weeks, boosted by Japanese shares.
U.S. 10-year Treasuries steadied, while the dollar trimmed some of Monday’s slide. Yields on longer-dated Treasuries rebounded in the U.S. session Monday, even as short-end rates remained anchored. That undid some of the curve-flattening that swept across markets after Fed officials last week accelerated their expected pace of policy tightening.
Brent oil fell after climbing to $75 a barrel for the first time in more than two years as traders awaited cues from OPEC+ on its response to a rapidly tightening market. Bitcoin sank closer to $30,000 after China intensified its cryptocurrency clampdown.
Investors are parsing policymakers’ statements on stimulus after the Fed’s hawkish tilt last week whipsawed the reflation trade. While inflation has picked up “notably” in recent months, it should move back toward the central bank’s 2% target once supply imbalances resolve, Powell reiterated in written remarks prepared for his Tuesday testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on pandemic aid.
Other officials have weighed in too. New York Fed President John Williams said he continues to view the recent spike in inflation as a temporary phenomenon, while his Dallas counterpart Robert Kaplan said he favors starting the process of reducing bond purchases “sooner rather than later.” St. Louis’s James Bullard called it “appropriate” that policy makers opened the taper debate.
“There’s probably going to be some back and forth here,” said Tracie McMillion, Wells Fargo Investment Institute head of global asset allocation strategy. “There is a lot of cash on the sidelines right now. Some of that is going to be earmarked to go into the markets, and we think the best place right now to be investing is in the equity markets.”
For more market commentary, follow the MLIV blog.
Here are some events to watch this week:
Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies at a House Subcommittee hearing on the Fed’s pandemic emergency lending and its asset purchase programs TuesdayBank of England interest rate decision Thursday
These are some of the main moves in financial markets:
The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1% as of 10:15 a.m. London timeFutures on the S&P 500 were little changedFutures on the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.2%Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changedThe MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.9%The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.2%
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.3%The euro fell 0.2% to $1.1897The Japanese yen fell 0.2% to 110.46 per dollarThe offshore yuan fell 0.2% to 6.4785 per dollarThe British pound fell 0.4% to $1.3877
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 1.49%Germany’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to -0.16%Britain’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 0.78%
Brent crude fell 0.5% to $74.50 a barrelSpot gold fell 0.2% to $1,779.91 an ounce
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