GLOBAL MARKETS-Fed leadership talk lifts dollar, shares tread water

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Fed leadership talk lifts dollar, shares tread water
Credit: © Reuters.

* Dollar gets boost on Taylor Fed Chair prospects

* Sterling lifted by forecast-beating UK GDP

* German business confidence rises to record high

* European shares tread water

By Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The dollar got a lift on Wednesday after a report that Republican senators were leaning towards John Taylor to be the next Federal Reserve chief, while share markets turned flat after a run of highs.

On Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter said U.S. President Donald Trump had polled Republicans on whether they would prefer Stanford University economist John Taylor or current Fed Governor Jerome Powell to be the next U.S. central bank chief, and more senators preferred Taylor. helped send the dollar up to a three-month high against the yen at 114.24 JPY=EBS , while the index that measures its broader strength rose 0.1 percent. .DXY

The dollar was also supported by the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury. It was at 2.42 percent having finally broken above the long-standing 2.4 percent barrier this week. US10YT=TWEB

For Fed-focused traders, Taylor is seen as someone who could quicken the pace of interest rate increases compared with Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires next February.

"The greenback remains firm, but the overhanging questions provide two-way risks over the coming few weeks - less so the FOMC (Federal Open Markets Committee) which looks locked in for a December rate hike, than on the progress of tax reform through Congress and the Fed Chair nomination," said Saxo Bank's head of FX strategy John Hardy.

Elsewhere in currencies, the Australian dollar dropped 1 percent to $0.7700 AUD=D4 , touching its lowest levels since mid-July after weak inflation numbers prompted investors to pare expectations of further tightening from the Reserve Bank of Australia. MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks shares in 47 countries, was flat as a muted gains in Europe counterbalanced earlier gains in Asia. Wall street futures were set to open lower. ESc1

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ended the session up 0.1 percent as India, South Korea and Indonesia all hit record highs.

Sterling got a boost after data showed Britain's economy picked up speed in the third quarter, bolstering the case for the Bank of England to raise UK interest rates next week for the first time in more than a decade. The pound rose almost 1 percent to $1.3255. GBP=D3 Theveneau, head of Global Equities at Lyxor Asset Management, told Reuters: "I still believe the British economy will be on the verge of a recession at the end of 2018."

He said that the figures were better than he had foreseen but that it did not change his views that the effects of Brexit on capital expenditure and a drop in EU immigration would gradually take their toll.

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX was up 0.3 percent. France's CAC 40 .FCHI rose 0.3 percent, while Britain's FTSE 100 index fell 0.2 percent as sterling's strength weighed. .FTSE . Germany's DAX .GDAXI rose 0.1 percent.

MSCI's benchmark emerging stocks index .MSCIEF rose 0.35 percent after two days of losses, with South Korean .KS11 , Indonesian .JKSE and Indian bourses .NSEI hitting all-time highs.

The latter was helped by a surge in banking shares such as State Bank of India SBI.NS , Punjab National Bank PNBK.NS and Bank of Baroda BOB.NS after the cabinet approved a $32.4 billion bank recapitalisation plan.

Euro zone banks .SX7E were up 1 percent, building on the previous session's gains as investors anticipated Thursday's European Central Bank meeting for the next catalyst for financials, which benefit from a rising rate environment.

Recent indications from policymakers have fanned speculation it will opt for a reduction in monthly asset purchases to 30 billion euros from January from 60 billion euros at present. Bets are also that it will keep that in place for 6-9 months.

German business confidence unexpectedly rose to a record high in October after falling for two months in a row, a survey showed on Wednesday. oil futures caught their breath after rising more than 1 percent overnight after top exporter Saudi Arabia said it was determined to end a supply glut. Prices also drew support from forecasts of a further drop in U.S. crude inventories as well as nervousness over tensions in Iraqi Kurdistan. O/R

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 0.1 percent at $58.41 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 was down 0.3 percent at $52.31.

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.2 percent at $1,273.70 an ounce.

For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Indian bank stocks soar on recapitalisation plan


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