© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An investor watches a board showing stock information at a brokerage office in Beijing, China October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
By Chibuike Oguh
NEW YORK (Reuters) -World equities rose while U.S. Treasury yields retreated after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting showed U.S. central bankers looking to soon moderate the pace of interest rate hikes.
A “substantial majority” of Fed policymakers agreed it would “likely soon be appropriate” to slow the pace of interest rate hikes, the meeting minutes showed.
Traders had expected the Fed minutes would affirm officials’ softening stance after recent data showed a moderation in economic conditions.
On Wednesday, U.S. Labor Department data showed jobless claims increased more than expected last week. U.S. business activity contracted for a fifth month in November, according to the S&P Global (NYSE:) flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index.
“I didn’t really think there was any surprises. They seem to still be pointing out that the risk to inflation are still high and recent data has been more persistent than they thought,” said Jordan Kahn, chief investment officer at ACM Funds in Los Angeles, California.
“People are going to get excited when they saw that some participants who were mentioning the need to slow the pace of rate hikes. But the market was already pricing in a 50 basis point rate hike for December and the odds in the Fed futures market of a 50-basis point hike was already 70% going into this minutes,” he said.
The MSCI All Country stock index was up 0.85%, while European shares rose 0.6%.
U.S. Treasury yields traded lower after the Fed minutes. Benchmark 10-year notes were down to 3.713% while the yields on two-year notes dropped to 4.4876%.
The yield curve that compares these two bonds was still in negative territory, at -76.30 basis points. When inverted, that part of the curve is seen as an indicator of an upcoming recession.
“The Fed has been hiking rates at 75 basis points and it was just unrealistic for them to continue at that pace,” Kahn added.
On Wall Street, all three major indexes were trading higher, led by gains in technology, consumer discretionary, communication, healthcare and industrial stocks.
The rose 0.37% to 34,225.33, the gained 0.64% to 4,029.26 and the added 1.08% to 11,294.92.
Oil prices fell more than 3%, continuing a streak of volatile trading, as the Group of Seven (G7) nations considered a price cap on Russian oil above the current market level and as gasoline inventories in the United States built by more than analysts’ expected.
futures for January delivery fell 3.63% to $85.15 a barrel, while fell 3.8%, to $77.82 per barrel
The U.S. dollar fell across the board after the Fed minutes. The fell 0.924%, with the euro up 0.9% to $1.0395.
Gold prices climbed as the U.S. dollar fell. added 0.7% to $1,751.84 an ounce, while U.S. gained 0.29% to $1,743.30 an ounce.