NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of equities worldwide shed early losses on Wednesday as Wall Street stocks rose despite looming recession jitters, while sterling tumbled as Britain’s prime minister moved to restrict parliamentary time before the country’s planned departure from the European Union.
FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening of the market in New York City, U.S., August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
The advance in U.S. stocks propelled the MSCI-All Country World Index .MIWD00000PUS to a 0.26% gain, even though the pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.14%. As stocks recovered, safe-haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen turned negative on the day, though still near recent highs. U.S. Treasury prices also eased.
Still, risk appetite was muted as yields on 30-year U.S. Treasuries touched all-time lows earlier in the session and were below those of 3-month bills. The yield curve between 2-year and 10-year notes US2US10=TWEB remained inverted.
An inversion of the yield curve – where yields on shorter-dated debt are above those on longer-dated paper – has historically been a highly accurate predictor of a U.S. recession.
“It’s become very difficult for investors to garner an idea of where we go to next,” said Michael Hewson, chief market strategist at CMC Markets. “The weakness in bond yields and the strength in havens speaks to an investor that is becoming increasingly risk-averse.”
(Graphic: U.S. Yield Curve link: here.png)
The British pound GBP= dropped sharply after Prime Minister Boris Johnson set Oct. 14 as the date for the formal state opening of a new session of parliament. The opening limits the time the parliament would sit before the planned date for Brexit on Oct. 31. The news stoked fears of an economically disruptive no-deal departure from the EU.
Sterling was last down 0.45% against the dollar at $1.2232.
(Graphic: GBP moves link: here.jpg)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 176.7 points, or 0.69%, to 25,954.6, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 14.87 points, or 0.52%, to 2,884.03 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 23.83 points, or 0.3%, to 7,850.78.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR last rose 7/32 in price to yield 1.4677%, from 1.49% late on Tuesday.
In currencies, the dollar index .DXY rose 0.15%. The Japanese yen weakened 0.13% versus the greenback at 105.89 per dollar, but remained close to the 2-1/2-year high of 104.44 it hit on Monday.
Among commodities, spot gold XAU= dropped 0.4% to $1,536.45 an ounce, though not far off its six-year peak touched on Monday.
Spot silver XAG= added 0.6% to $18.27 an ounce after having hit $18.50, its highest level since April 2017.
Oil prices jumped as data showing a fall in U.S. crude stockpiles helped ease worries about weakening oil demand caused by the China-U.S. trade war. U.S. crude CLcv1 rose 2.15% to $56.11 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $60.61, up 1.85% on the day.
Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Richard Leong and Laila Kearney in New York and Tom Wilson in London; Editing by Gareth Jones and Steve Orlofsky