Dollar, bond yields up on Fed rate risk

By Reuters

Aug 04, 2015 09:00 PM EDT

Asian shares markets got off to a watchful start on Wednesday as the mounting risks of a hike in U.S. interest rates as early as next month lifted the dollar and sovereign bond yields, pressuring currencies across the region.

Moves were minor with Japan's Nikkei .N225 off 0.1 percent

and South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 up 0.1 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dipped 0.3 percent.

Losses on Wall Street had also been modest with the Dow .DJI ending Tuesday off 0.27 percent, while the S&P 500 .SPX eased 0.22 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 0.19 percent.

Leading the way were shares in Apple (AAPL.O) which hit their lowest in over six months, apparently in part on worries about demand in China.

The latest scare over U.S rates came when Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart told the Wall Street Journal that it would take "significant deterioration" in the economy for him to not support a hike in September.

"Given that Lockhart is middle-of-the-road to slightly dovish, these comments from him really add a lot of weight to the notion that the Fed really wants to go in September," said analysts at Citi.

Investors reacted by narrowing the odds of a move next month, though Fed fund futures <0#FF:> still imply only around a 50-50 chance of a hike so soon.

Yields on two-year Treasury notes US2YT=RR jumped 5 basis points to 0.74 percent, so reversing all the fall that followed a surprisingly soft report on U.S. wages out last week.

The shift to higher rates in the United States has been sucking funds out of emerging markets, pressuring currencies from Brazil to Mexico to South Korea. The Malaysian ringgit was hit especially hard, striking lows not seen since 1998 MYR=.

The U.S. dollar also gained on its major counterparts, reaching 124.34 yen JPY= from a low of 123.77 on Tuesday. The euro recoiled to $1.0878 EUR=, from a top of $1.0988.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was up at 98.021 .DXY and threatening the July peaks around 98.151.

Commodity markets steadied after recent declines with sentiment aided by a bounce in Chinese stocks amid more talk of government stimulus.

The Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index .TRJCRB rose 0.8 percent. Brent oil LCOc1 added 16 cents to $50.15 a barrel and U.S. crude CLc1 gained 14 cents to $45.88.

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics