GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar stronger on Fed bets, stocks fade

Tue Jul 2, 2013 4:36pm EDT

* U.S. Treasuries little changed, some T-bill yields
negative
    * U.S. dollar above 100 yen, euro weakens
    * WTI crude at nine-month high above $99


    By Rodrigo Campos
    NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar hit its highest
in a month against the yen and euro on Tuesday while a gauge of
global equities fell as U.S stocks reversed course to end
slightly lower.
    Wall Street slipped in a volatile session, weighed mostly by
declines in shares in the industrial sector as the S&P 500 once
again lost steam after it bumped against its 50-day moving
average.
    "We saw the market moving to the downside right around that
50-day moving average. It's a bit technical here but on a day
like today, it's an area that people are looking (at) closely
and so far, it's been serving as a bit of resistance," said Ryan
Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment
Research.
    The S&P has not been able to close above its 50-day average
since ending below it on June 20.
    Trading will likely continue to be thin all week, with U.S.
markets closing early on Wednesday and all of Thursday for the
U.S. Independence Day holiday. The lower volume could translate
into increased volatility, especially with the release of the
U.S. nonfarm payroll report on Friday.
    The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.55 points or
0.28 percent, to end at 14,932.41, the S&P 500 lost 0.88
point or 0.05 percent, to close at 1,614.08 and the Nasdaq
Composite dropped 1.09 points or 0.03 percent, to
3,433.4.
    The S&P's session high was 1,624.26, marginally above its
50-day average of 1,623.94.
    The MSCI gauge of major global stock markets 
fell 0.2 percent.
    
    GREENBACK GAINS
    The dollar hit a one-month high against the yen at
100.72 yen and rose to a near five-week peak against a basket of
currencies on expectations Friday's U.S. jobs data will
bolster the chances that the Fed will scale back its stimulus
measures sooner than expected.
    Comments from Fed officials have recently turned markets on
their heads as traders try to guess how soon the central bank
will start to wind down its $85 billion monthly bond purchases.
    This program, known as quantitative easing, has been
instrumental for the rally in stocks and has helped keep
interest rates near historic lows, while putting downward
pressure on the greenback.
    "There's still a bias overall for a stronger dollar because
of tapering expectations," said Brian Kim, currency strategist 
at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut. "Although some
Federal Reserve officials have tried to temper these
expectations, the market view is that tapering will come sooner
rather than later."
    The head of the New York Fed reiterated in a speech on
Tuesday that the U.S. central bank will likely continue to
support the economic recovery for some time despite market
worries that it would pull back soon.
    The yen's weakness helped Japan's Nikkei stock index 
close 1.8 percent higher, above 14,000 for the first time in
five weeks, as shares of blue-chip exporters rose.
    U.S. dollar-denominated Nikkei futures were up 1.9
percent, extending the gains in the past four sessions to 8.9
percent.
    The euro fell 0.7 percent to $1.2975 and hit a low of
$1.2962, its lowest since early June.
    Prices of U.S. Treasuries traded little changed as investors
paused before the U.S. holiday and labor market data.
    "The market's in a bit of a holding pattern as we await
Friday's employment report," said Ian Lyngen, senior government
bond strategist at CRT Capital Group in Stamford, Connecticut.
    The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was up 2/32
in price to yield 2.4711 percent.
    Interest rates on some Treasury bills turned negative as
investors scrambled for cash-like assets to guard against
volatile trading that could come from Friday's jobs data. 
    With Greece due to repay 2.2 billion euros of bonds in
August, yields on 10-year Greek bonds were up 14 basis points at
11.18 percent.
    Portugal's bond yields widened 22 basis points
to 6.62 percent after the finance and foreign ministers quit on
consecutive days.
    In commodities trading, Brent crude rose near $104 a barrel
, extending gains to a second day due to concerns about
supply disruptions in the Middle East and Africa while U.S.
crude was up 1.6 percent to $99.45 after hitting its
highest since September.
    Copper fell from a near two-week high in the previous
session as a stronger dollar weighed on the price and investors
remained concerned about economic prospects in top metals
consumer China.
    Three-month copper traded down 0.7 percent to $6,907
a tonne, partly reversing the previous session's 3.4 percent
rally.
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