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US Dollar Jumps as Government Bond Yields Rise

27 April 2018

Spot gold was down 0.1 per cent at $1,329.04 per ounce at 0335 GMT.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bounced back from three-week lows plumbed the previous day and gained 0.35 per cent.

Australian stocks edged up 0.2 per cent and Japan's Nikkei rose 0.7 per cent.

After touching four-year highs, yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries dipped below 3 percent as buyers emerged following a week-long sell-off spurred by concerns about rising inflation and growing borrowing by the U.S. government.

Shanghai bucked the trend and slipped 0.3 per cent.

The benchmark yield rose after the release of positive USA economic indicators and better-than-expected corporate earnings reports.

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Nonetheless, the broader equity market reaction to the latest jump in US yields appeared to be more measured compared to February, when a similar spike in rates sent stocks tumbling.

The rise in borrowing yields and commodity prices has caused several companies, such as Caterpillar and 3M, to caution this week about rising costs, raising flags for investors about the strength of future earnings.

"For more than six months, dollar-liability flows have outstripped dollar-asset flows, but that is now reversing which is helping the dollar", said Hans Redeker, head of global FX strategy at Morgan Stanley based in London.

"Expectations towards USA rate hikes being gradual are enabling equities to take the current yield rise in stride".

The 10-year yield on Wednesday reached its highest level since January 2014, at 3.035 percent. The yield has climbed on expectations of a steady US economic expansion, accelerating inflation and concerns about increasing debt supply.

A drop in the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield below the 3 percent mark also aided equities.

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The U.S. dollar continued its eight-day rally, rising to 91.637, its highest since January 12, against a basket of six currencies.

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Against the yen, the dollar set a 2-1/2-month high of 109.46 yen but later eased to 109.32 yen.

Brent crude added 0.6 per cent to $74.43 a barrel and US crude futures were 0.5 per cent higher at $68.38 a barrel.

"But there are a lot of other factors, and a lot of tensions that have been boosting prices... we think gold will continue to trade in this range between $1,300-1,350 depending on what happens with those risks, and the Fed hiking rates".

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US Dollar Jumps as Government Bond Yields Rise