Stocks, U.S. yields climb after Democrats win control of the Senate

By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) -Bond prices dropped and stocks hit record highs on Thursday as investors bet Democratic control of the U.S.

Reuters January 08, 2021 03:05:11 IST
Stocks, U.S. yields climb after Democrats win control of the Senate

Stocks US yields climb after Democrats win control of the Senate

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Bond prices dropped and stocks hit record highs on Thursday as investors bet Democratic control of the U.S. Congress would enable President-elect Joe Biden to borrow and spend heavily, while higher yields helped a bruised dollar recover from near three-year lows.

U.S. Treasuries prices extended their steepest sell-off in months, with the benchmark yield at its highest in 10 months, after victories in two Georgia races handed the Democratic Party narrow control of the U.S. Senate, bolstering Biden's power to pass his agenda as his party controls both chambers.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in almost 50 countries, rose over 1% to hit a record high for the third session this week.

A shaken Congress formally certified Biden’s election victory in the early hours of Thursday, after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters had stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The shocking images of the assault had earlier knocked sentiment, though traders focused on the implications of the Democrats' control of Congress.

On Wall Street, major indexes hit record highs on bets that more pandemic stimulus under a Democrat-controlled U.S. government will help the economy ride out the downturn.

"You're seeing a reflation trade on the assumption that a more progressive and aggressive fiscal stimulus packages could be in the offing," said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GlobAlt in Atlanta.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 238.07 points, or 0.77%, to 31,067.47, the S&P 500 gained 56.4 points, or 1.50%, to 3,804.54 and the Nasdaq Composite added 317.71 points, or 2.49%, to 13,058.51.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.51% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.18%. Emerging market stocks rose 0.36%.

Earlier, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had risen 0.35% and Japan's Nikkei hit its intraday highest since 1990 before ending up 1.6%.

The prospect for future stimulus spending sent bond prices lower, with the yield on the benchmark hitting its highest since March. It rose as high as 1.088% on Thursday. [US/]

"The Georgia Senate elections just added a tailwind to existing trends of reflation and upward pressure on Treasury yields," said Bill Merz, head of fixed income research at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 10/32 in price to yield 1.0761%, from 1.042% late on Wednesday.

The 30-year bond last fell 21/32 in price to yield 1.8499%, from 1.821%.

Meanwhile Germany's 10-year Bund yield dipped slightly to -0.55%.

BRUISED DOLLAR

The Democrats' victory reverberated in currency markets, too.

The dollar had sunk to a near three-year low against a basket of six major currencies, with traders betting growing U.S. trade and budget deficits would further weigh on the greenback.

On Thursday, it rose 0.573%, on track for its strongest session since at least late October, with the euro down 0.48% to $1.2266.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.77% versus the greenback at 103.86 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3565, down 0.31% on the day.

"Once (Treasury yields) start to move, as they did yesterday, it wasn’t a big move but it was in the right direction, that is the direction of the future," said Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXStreet.com.

Oil prices touched their highest since late February on a fall in U.S. stockpiles and in the wake of a pledge by Saudi Arabia to cut output by more than expected.

U.S. crude recently rose 0.57% to $50.92 per barrel and Brent was at $54.47, up 0.31% on the day.

Spot gold dropped 0.2% to $1,914.71 an ounce. Silver fell 0.58% to $27.14.

Bitcoin hit a record high that breached the $40,000 mark, and was last up 5.24% at $38,781.90.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Tom Wilson and Noah Browning in London, Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru, Chuck Mikolajczak in New York and Karen Pierog in ChicagoEditing by Alistair Bell and Nick Zieminski)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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