Global stock index rises slightly while euro falls, yields up

By Sinéad Carew and Dhara Ranasinghe

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) -MSCI’S global equities index edged higher on Monday while investors waited for key U.S. inflation data and central bank policy meetings but the euro fell after French President Emmanuel Macron called a snap election.

U.S. Treasury yields rose as investors digested Friday’s labor market data and looked toward consumer price data and a Federal Reserve policy announcement this week. Investors are also waiting on Bank of Japan policy news.

Adding further uncertainty to a busy week was fresh political uncertainty in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy after far-right gains in European Parliament elections on Sunday prompted a bruised Macron to call a national election.

The euro fell to a one-month low against the dollar, while European stocks slipped.

“There’s a little bit of uncertainty coming from a couple of areas. Look at the elections over the weekend in Europe. The uncertainty there is creating a fair amount of volatility,” said Chad Oviatt, director of investment management at Huntington National Bank.

Europe’s STOXX 600 index earlier closed down 0.27% while France’s blue-chip CAC 40 index .FCHI fell 1.4% to touch a more than three-month low.

But MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe turned from red to green as the day wore on and Wall Street regained some lost ground. The global index was last up 0.75 points, or 0.09%, at 794.99.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite managed to mark their second record closing highs in four days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.05 points, or 0.18%, to 38,868.04, the S&P 500 gained 13.80 points, or 0.26%, to 5,360.79 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 59.40 points, or 0.35%, to 17,192.53.

Huntington’s Oviatt said investors are eagerly awaiting U.S. consumer price index (CPI) inflation data due on Wednesday morning just ahead of the Fed’s next policy decision due Wednesday afternoon.

Adding to uncertainty about what the economic data will mean for the Fed’s rate policy was Friday’s payrolls report, which showed the U.S. economy created far more jobs than expected in May while annual wage growth re-accelerated.

“It seems that everybody is itching for a rate cut, but it’s not justified as of yet. And so they’re clinging on Wednesday morning, CPI data, hoping that’ll give us more direction and additional commentary from the Fed later on that afternoon, trying to get some clarity,” said Jim Barnes, director of fixed income at Bryn Mawr Trust in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

U.S. Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices, rose on Monday, reflecting the higher-for-longer U.S. rate expectations. [US/]

The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes rose 4.1 basis points to 4.469%, from 4.428% late on Friday, while the 30-year bond yield rose 4.8 basis points to 4.5958%.

The 2-year note yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, rose 1.5 basis points to 4.8846%, from 4.87% late on Friday.

In currencies, the euro fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since May 9, and was last off 0.37% against the greenback at $1.076. Earlier, it hit a near 2-year low against sterling.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies including the euro and Japan’s yen, gained 0.08% at 105.14.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar strengthened 0.21% to 157.03.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) holds a two-day monetary policy meeting this week and could offer fresh guidance on how it plans to scale back its massive bond purchases.

In commodities, oil prices rose to a one-week high on hopes of rising fuel demand this summer, though gains were capped by dollar strength and receding expectations of U.S. rate cuts.

U.S. crude settled up 2.93% at $77.74 a barrel and Brent settled at $81.63 per barrel, up 2.52%. [O/R]

Gold prices rebounded after dropping the most in 3-1/2 years in the previous session, as investors waited for inflation data and the Fed’s policy statement.

Spot gold added 0.72% to $2,309.15 an ounce.[GOL/]

(Reporting by Sinéad Carew, Chuck Mikolajczak in New York, Dhara Ranasinghe in London, Rae Wee in Singapore, Mathieu Rosemain in Paris and Nell Mackenzie in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Hugh Lawson, Jan Harvey, Will Dunham and David Gregorio)



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