Gold Price Analysis – GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street heads for subdued start, on bond watch
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) – Wall Street stocks headed for a subdued start on Tuesday as investors paused to gauge if a jump in bond yields had run its course before dipping back into riskier assets.
Among the standouts, Zoom Video Communications Inc jumped about 10% after the company said it expects millions of people to continue using its video-conferencing platforms to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. stock futures were slightly softer.
“You have had a lurch higher in bond yields and the level is not a problem but the speed of the move was a problem to a lot of people. Now it’s a question of are we done for a bit,” said Kit Juckes, global head of currency strategy at Societe Generale.
A warning from China overnight about market bubbles also dampened sentiment, leaving investors to swing risk-on, risk-off across markets in a disjointed way, he said.
Weaker oil also weighed.
“We are all staring at our navels a little bit and the bond market is firmly in charge. The equity market has to decide whether it has got itself a little too frothy,” Juckes said.
Investors will scrutinise speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve officials in coming days for messaging on trends in yields, starting with Lael Brainard at 1800 GMT on Tuesday.
U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, with the S&P 500 posting its best day in nearly nine months, as bond markets calmed after a month-long selloff.
A selloff in Treasuries last week pushed the 10-year Treasury yield to a one-year high of 1.614%. The 10-year yield was flat at 1.4462%.
The U.S. dollar index was up 0.1% against a basket of currencies to stand at 91.13.
Shares in mainland China and Hong Kong fell overnight after a top regulatory official expressed concerns about the risk of bubbles bursting in foreign markets.
“Financial markets are trading at high levels in Europe, the U.S. and other developed countries, which runs counter to the real economy,” Guo Shuqing, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, told a news conference.
Chinese blue-chips slipped 1.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 1.2%.
Analysts said the pause in markets was to be expected after last week’s moves in bonds.
“We are in the yield waiting room to see whether central bankers push back this week on the ambivalence we saw last week about interest rates,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
European shares firmed with the broad STOXX 600 share index was up 0.6%, with Paris, Frankfurt and London gaining by a similar amount.
German retail sales tumbled more than expected in January as an ongoing lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic curtailed retail spending.
Bitcoin fell 1.7% to $48,755 after rising nearly 7% on Monday.
A stronger greenback weighed on gold, with the yellow metal at $1,730 an ounce, up 0.4%.
Oil prices largely shrugged off expectations that OPEC would agree to raise oil supply at a meeting this week. Brent crude recouped earlier losses and was flat at $63.74 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude edged up 14 cents to $60.78 a barrel.
Reporting by Huw Jones in London, Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; Editing by Susan Fenton and David Evans