World shares rise, U.S. yields weaken after inflation data, BOJ rate tweak

  • Reuters
  • Forex News
World shares rise, U.S. yields weaken after inflation data, BOJ rate tweak
Credit: © Reuters.

By Chibuike Oguh

NEW YORK (Reuters) -World shares rose while U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday as markets digested the Bank of Japan's decision to tweak its ultra-loose monetary policy as well as data showing a continuing moderation in annual U.S. inflation.

The Bank of Japan on Friday adjusted its yield curve control scheme, offering to buy 10-year Japanese government bonds beyond the previous 0.5% target rate while keeping unchanged its benchmark short-term rate at -0.1% and long-term bond yields at zero.

The move brings the BOJ more into line with other major central banks, which have been aggressively hiking rates to reduce inflation. The U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank had announced interest rates hikes this week, with markets expecting them to be nearing the end of a rate-raising cycle.

U.S. inflation slowed considerably in the 12 months to June, with the personal consumption expenditures price index rising by 3%, the smallest annual gain since March 2021, data from the Commerce Department showed on Friday.

The MSCI All Country stock index, which tracks shares in nearly 50 countries, rose 0.72% to 705.13 points. The index has gained nearly 17% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury yields weakened after hitting two-week highs for most maturities the previous session, with yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes down at 3.957% while two-year yields fell to 4.8786%.

"I think the BOJ move turned out to be a whole lot less than what was feared. It's basically a minor tweak and the market is coming around to the fact that it is not really meaningful in terms of tightening," said Garrett Melson, portfolio strategist at Natixis Investment Managers in Boston.

On Wall Street, all three main indexes finished higher led by technology, communication services and consumer discretionary stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5% to 35,459.29, the S&P 500 gained 0.99% to 4,582.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.9% to 14,316.66.

European stocks fell 0.2% after hitting a 17-month high on Thursday when the ECB raised interest rates to their highest level in more than two decades and left open the possibility of a pause at its next meeting.

Overnight in Asia, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.42% higher, with Japan's Nikkei dropping 0.40%.

"Right now, the market fully realizes that it's all about how the data unfolds. We're really in the midst of a material slow down in inflation trends and at the same time growth is holding up well, which is what you'd expect for the soft landing," Melson added.

The yen whipsawed in its most volatile trading session in months following the BOJ's move while the dollar fell against a basket of its major peers. The yen weakened 1.18% versus the greenback at 141.08 per dollar. The dollar index fell 0.059%, with the euro up 0.45% to $1.1022.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., July 26, 2023.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Oil prices settled higher, reaching the fifth straight week of gains as investors were optimistic that healthy demand and supply cuts will keep prices buoyantBrent crude settled 75 cents higher to $84.99 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 49 cents to $80.58 a barrel.

Gold prices rose after a sharp fall in the previous session, helped by a slight retreat in the dollar. Spot gold added 0.7% to $1,959.18 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.66% to $1,958.50 an ounce.

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