Stocks slip, dollar gains as inflation concerns simmer

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) -Global equity markets slid and the dollar rose on Wednesday after a strong private payrolls report and surging energy prices fueled the inflation outlook and expectations the Federal Reserve will soon taper its massive bond purchases.

FILE PHOTO: Morning sunlight falls on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

U.S. private payrolls increased by 568,000 jobs in September as COVID-19 infections subsided, or 140,000 more than economists polled by Reuters had forecast, according to the employment report from ADP that pointed to a recovering jobs market.

But ADP has been an unreliable predicator of the non-farm payrolls data the Labor Department will release on Friday, which should signal whether the Fed announces in November a timeline for tapering its $120 billion a month in bond purchases.

Unless Friday’s non-farms payroll report is an absolute disaster, a taper announcement by the Fed in November can be expected with its quantitative easing program over by mid-2022, said David Petrosinelli, senior trader at InspereX in New York.

“QE buying right now at full bore, at worst is limited or has no effect,” Petrosinelli said, adding inflationary pricing pressures in the economy are daunting. “They’re (the Fed) going to have to raise interest rates in 2022,” he said.

MSCI’s all-country world index fell 0.83% while the broad Euro STOXX 600 index fell almost the same.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slide 0.94%, the S&P 500 fell 0.77% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.51%.

Euro zone yields rose as a government bond sell-off extended on Wednesday on inflation concerns and potential monetary policy tightening. A gauge of German inflation expectations hit its highest since May 2013.

Germany’s 10-year government bond yield, the benchmark of the euro zone, rose as much as 4 basis points and hit its highest since the end of June at -0.147%.

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Yields on the U.S. Treasury 10-year benchmark fell from more than three-month peaks, as investors pulled back from recent selling to buy the note. But the outlook for rates remained tilted to the upside amid optimism about growth.

The 10-year note’s yield fell 1.6 basis points to 1.5154%.

The dollar rose toward a one-year high touched last week as inflation concerns fueled by surging energy prices and the outlook for rising rates knocked investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, rose 0.413% to 94.404. The euro fell 0.54% to $1.1533, while the Japanese yen slid 0.08% at $111.3600.

The New Zealand dollar extended losses after barely budging on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifting its official cash rate for the first time in seven years.

Oil prices dropped nearly 2% after hitting multi-year highs, a step back from recent torrid gains after U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly.

Behind oil’s recent climb were concerns about energy supply and a decision on Monday by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies to stick to a planned output increase rather than raising it further. [O/R]

Brent crude futures fell 1.73% to $81.13 a barrel. U.S. crude slipped 1.77% to $77.53 a barrel.

“Higher oil – and commodity prices in general in terms of gas and oil – are feeding through into higher bond yields, because it has an inflationary implication,” said Mike Bell, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.

Chinese markets remained closed for a public holiday, and shares of cash-strapped developer China Evergrande were suspended having stopped trading on Monday pending an announcement of a significant transaction.

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