World shares dip after hitting record highs; U.S. yields rise

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An index of stocks across the world dipped, on track to end Monday with the largest daily drop in almost four weeks, after touching a record high and investors looking for earnings to justify the high valuations.

FILE PHOTO: The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York, U.S., February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The U.S. dollar index touched a more than 6-week low and Treasury yields edged up after posting on Friday their largest weekly drop since June and oil prices slipped on concerns over rising coronavirus cases globally.

On Wall Street indexes fell, with the Nasdaq being the biggest decliner. Tesla Inc shares fell following a fatal crash involving one of its cars.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 160.74 points, or 0.47%, to 34,039.93, the S&P 500 lost 28.8 points, or 0.69%, to 4,156.67 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 165.89 points, or 1.18%, to 13,886.46.

“The market has had a huge jump to the upside so it needs to take a little bit of rest,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“For now it’s just a little bit of profit-taking as traders await results from big tech names on Wall Street.”

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.37%

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.07% and Emerging market stocks rose 0.03%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.14% higher. Nikkei futures lost 1.63%.

The dollar fell against a basket of peers on the back of the sharp drop in Treasury yields last week.

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“Indeed, the USD rally is all but distant memory by now and the currency’s underperformance seems to reflect the apparent divergence in the outlook between the slumping UST yields and the rather perky bond yields elsewhere,” said Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX research at Credit Agricole.

The dollar index fell 0.57%, with the euro up 0.43% at $1.2035.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.59% versus the greenback at 108.13 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.3986, up 1.13% on the day.

Treasury yields rose after last week’s sharp drop.

“Yields are taking their cues from the equity markets,” said Jim Barnes, director of fixed income for Bryn Mawr Trust. He and others said investors are also waiting to gauge the market’s appetite for $24 billion of 20-year bonds scheduled to be auctioned on Wednesday.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 8/32 in price to yield 1.6011%, from 1.573% late on Friday.

Spot gold dropped 0.3% to $1,770.69 an ounce. Silver fell 0.60% to $25.80.

Bitcoin last fell 0.92% to $55,764.99.

Oil prices edged up, but rising COVID-19 infections in India prompted concern than stronger measures to contain the pandemic would hurt economic activity.

A weaker dollar makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies. However, COVID-19 cases have surged in India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, dampening optimism for a sustained global recovery in demand.

“The primary hazard to continued oil price strength is the possible re-emergence of COVID-19 case counts on a broad scale,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.

U.S. crude rose 0.46% to $63.42 per barrel and Brent was at $67.07, up 0.45% on the day.

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