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Apr 8, 2021

Stocks climb on Powell’s reassurance; dollar falls

BNN Bloomberg's closing bell market update: April 8, 2021

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Stocks climbed as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank has the tools to curb any inflation pressures, which are expected to be temporary as the economy reopens.

The S&P 500 notched a fresh record amid slow trading. Volume on U.S. exchanges remained under 10 billion shares, hitting another low for the year. The Nasdaq 100 outperformed major equity benchmarks as giants such as Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. rallied. Energy producers and banks retreated. Treasuries rose, while the dollar fell.

One day after the Fed’s March minutes struck a dovish tone for the path of monetary policy, Powell said the central bank would react if inflation expectations started “moving persistently and materially” above levels officials are comfortable with. He also noted that disparate efforts to vaccinate people globally is a risk to progress for the economic rebound, which remains “uneven and incomplete.”

“The doves are in control, and today’s cautious comments from Fed Chair Powell delivered another reiteration of their ultra-accommodative stance,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda in New York.

 

Meanwhile, Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said it’s too soon for central bankers to discuss tapering asset purchases as long as the pandemic continues. Data Thursday showed applications for U.S. state unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose for a second week, underscoring the choppy nature of the labor-market recovery.

Some key events to watch this week:

  • China’s consumer and producer prices data are due Friday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent at 4 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6 per cent.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3 per cent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slid 0.3 per cent.
  • The euro advanced 0.4 per cent to US$1.1917.
  • The Japanese yen appreciated 0.5 per cent to 109.27 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on two-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 0.15 per cent.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid five basis points to 1.62 per cent.
  • The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell five basis points to 2.31 per cent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude settled at US$59.60 a barrel.
  • Gold strengthened 1.1 per cent to US$1,756.68 an ounce.

--With assistance from Joanna Ossinger, Andreea Papuc, Robert Brand, Claire Ballentine and Lu Wang.

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