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Stocks mixed, yen in focus after flirting with key level

Published 2024/06/24, 02:48
Updated 2024/06/24, 23:15
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A passerby walks past Japan's Nikkei stock prices quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan February 19, 2024. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Global stock indexes were mixed on Monday ahead of a key U.S. inflation reading due this week, while the dollar eased slightly against the yen from levels that put investors on alert for Japanese intervention.

The Dow Jones Industrial average hit a one-month high while the Nasdaq fell more than 1%.

The dollar earlier tested the 160-yen barrier. Japan's top currency official Masato Kanda said authorities will take appropriate steps if there is excessive foreign exchange movement, and that the addition of Japan to the U.S. Treasury's monitoring list would not restrict their actions.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was last down 0.07% at 159.68. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.38% to 105.48. The euro was up 0.38% at $1.0732.

Investors are hoping to get more clues about the Federal Reserve's next steps as it attempts to fight inflation without hurting the economy too much.

The U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index is due on Friday. Annual growth in the core index is expected to slow in May.

Investors also will be looking at first-quarter gross domestic product estimates, released on Thursday.

"The biggest worry for the market is any whiff of stagflation. In other words, a cooling economy with inflation climbing higher," said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist, LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Market participants are still expecting about two rate cuts this year, pricing in an over-60% chance of a 25-basis-point cut in September, according to LSEG's FedWatch.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260.88 points, or 0.67%, to 39,411.21, the S&P 500 lost 16.75 points, or 0.31%, to 5,447.87 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 192.54 points, or 1.09%, to 17,496.82.

Shares of chip maker Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) fell 6.68%, extending recent losses.

"Every time we've seen significant profit taking, we've seen dip-buyers coming in and just pushing it back up higher," Krosby said.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe rose 0.14 points, or 0.02%, to 801.39. The STOXX 600 index gained 0.73%.

Investors will also be watching for the first U.S. presidential debate on Thursday and the start of the French election on Sunday.

U.S. President Joe Biden heads into the debate with rival Donald Trump armed with new immigration and border policies that his backers hope will boost his standing among skeptical voters.

France's far-right National Rally (RN) party and its allies are seen leading the first round of the parliamentary election with 35.5% of the vote, according to a poll published on Sunday.

Also due this week are quarterly earnings from FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU).

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A passerby walks past Japan's Nikkei stock prices quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan February 19, 2024. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

In Treasuries, the yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes dipped 2.7 basis points to 4.23%, from 4.257% late on Friday.

U.S. crude futures gained 90 cents to settle at $81.63 a barrel and Brent rose 77 cents to $86.01.

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