By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar and U.S. government debt yields fell on Thursday while equity markets rallied after a modest rise in consumer prices in April eased concerns the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates more than expected this year.
The U.S. Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent last month, less than forecasts for 0.3 percent, as a moderation in healthcare prices offset increases in the cost of gasoline and rental accommodations.
The dollar fell against the euro, the Japanese yen and a basket of other major currencies, while the Mexican peso
Equity markets rose as the soft inflation data reduced the prospect of the Fed boosting rates three more times in 2018, instead of four times many in the market were forecasting.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes
"Inflation is going to rise in year-over-year terms over the summer, but the rise remains moderate rather than sharp," said
Eric Winograd, senior economist at AllianceBernstein LP.
The soft read on inflation should give the Fed comfort that their gradual approach to raising rates is the correct one and ease market concerns, he said.
"I view today's number as a slight positive for risk assets in the near term," Winograd said.
However, the broad-based Underlying Inflation Gauge released by staff at the New York Fed later in the session showed inflation at 3.2 percent in April.
"We did have a miss on CPI for this particular month, but I don't think the overall trend for higher inflation has materially changed," said Eddy Vataru, a portfolio manager at Osterweis Capital Management in San Francisco.
"With oil prices north of $70, it's hard for me to believe this is going to be a persistent trend of inflation misses," he said.
MSCI's broad gauge of global equity markets <.MIWD00000PUS> rose 0.82 percent and turned positive for the year as it hit three-weeks highs.
Emerging market stocks <.MSCIEF> rose 1.43 percent, after Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan and the Nikkei <.N225> in Tokyo both earlier closed higher.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> of leading regional shares closed down 0.13 percent, but markets in London <.FTSE>, Germany <.GDAXI> and France <.CAC40> closed higher.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 197.78 points, or 0.81 percent, to 24,740.32. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 23.12 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,720.91 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 56.36 points, or 0.77 percent, to 7,396.27.
Oil markets were choppy but settled higher as traders eyed further declines in Venezuelan crude production in tandem with bullish drawdowns in U.S. crude inventories.
Brent crude futures
U.S. West Texas Intermediate
Gold rose on the weaker dollar and as tensions between the United States and Iran also supported the precious metal.
U.S. gold futures
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)
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Updated Date: May 11, 2018 01:05 AM