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US Futures Point Higher After Thursday’s Sell, But Bond Yields Still Concern Some Investors




US stocks had a sluggish week after a strong start to February.

U.S. equity futures traded higher on Friday after a week in which stocks struggled to find direction as bond yields rose, raising borrowing costs and worrying some investors.

Longer-term U.S. bond yields surged overnight and traded to their highest level since February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Futures on S&P 500 rose 0.31% on Friday morning, after the benchmark fell 0.44% on Thursday. Futures on the Nasdaq climbed 0.37% and futures on Dow Jones rose 0.25% after both indices fell the day before.

Stocks were mixed in Asia overnight, with China’s CSI 300 gaining 0.18% but Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipping 0.72%.

The European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.2% in morning trading, while the UK’s FTSE 100 was only 0.02% higher. The British pound topped $ 1.40 for the first time since 2018, as investors applauded the UK’s rapid vaccination campaign.

Stocks had a gloomy week after surging in early February. Lawmakers continue to debate a possible US $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package and nibble at the economic data.

Data on Thursday showed US jobless claims rose more than expected to 861,000 the week before, contrasting with stronger than expected retail sales figures the day before.

A sharp rise in bond yields also weighed on equities. When bond yields rise, safe assets have become more attractive to investors.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bill, which moves inversely to price, rose 1.9 basis points to 1.306% on Friday morning. It was near a one-year high of 1.33% hit on Wednesday.

“A resumption in the surge in global bond yields is starting to worry some traders,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign exchange firm Oanda.

“Despite a firm commitment from the Fed that monetary policy will remain favorable and additional fiscal spending from the Biden administration, US stocks are ripe for a pullback if yields continue to rise.”

Nonetheless, the US stock rally has shown few signs of a significant slowing down yet. The S&P 500 is up around 4% in 2021 and up 15% in the last 6 months.

Bitcoin’s price hit an all-time high of over $ 52,800 on Friday as investors continued to accumulate in the cryptocurrency. His gain since the start of the year is now around 80%.

WTI crude oil returned from an approximately 14-month high caused by lower temperatures hitting Texas. It was down 1.57% Friday morning at $ 59.56 a barrel. Brent crude was 1.13% lower at $ 63.20 a barrel.

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