Saturday, 30 June 2018

US stocks extend rally; Treasuries fall on price data

Stocks climbed as global markets delivered an upbeat end to a quarter that’s seen equities whipsawed by escalating trade tensions and central-bank hawkishness. Treasuries and the dollar stayed lower after data showed weak consumer spending and strong inflation.

The S&P 500 index headed for a third straight monthly gain, buoyed on Friday after big banks promised to return record amounts to shareholders. Nike Inc rose the most on record after reporting results.

Equity advances were tempered by a report President Donald Trump wants to withdraw from the World Trade Organization, though his Treasury secretary walked that back.

The dollar pared a third straight monthly advance. The euro gained the most in a month and Italian 10-year government bonds rose after European Union leaders agreed to a package of measures to stem the flow of migrants. European equities pared a month loss with a rally that topped 1%. Ten-year Treasury yields held near 2.84%, roughly where they ended May.

Investors are looking for reasons to cheer at the end of a miserable quarter overshadowed by trade tensions and political risk. Trump’s attitude to the WTO will come as little surprise to traders given his protectionist stance, and while it’s too early to tell how long the European Union’s united front and the respite in the yuan’s decline will last, for now, the risks to financial markets appear to have eased.

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