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Stocks dip while U.S. crude gains on China hopes

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2022-11-29T20:48:58Z

Wall Street lost ground on Tuesday as investors awaited guidance on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hiking path, while U.S. oil futures settled higher on hopes that China would loosen COVID-19 restrictions that had fueled fears about the global economy.

The Australian dollar bounced back on Tuesday as investors hoped China would ease COVID restrictions after Chinese health officials discussed speeding up COVID vaccinations for elderly people. The yen strengthened against the dollar, and the euro lost ground.

U.S. Treasury trading was choppy ahead of a slew of data due later in the week and after a survey released on Tuesday showed that U.S. consumer confidence eased further in November amid persistent worries about the rising cost of living.

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Barkin on Monday doused speculation the U.S. central bank would reverse course on interest rates relatively quickly next year in comments made late on Monday.

After similar messages from other Fed officials on Monday, investors were warily awaiting Wednesday’s appearance by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who earlier this month had dashed hopes of policy easing when he spoke to reporters after a Fed meeting.

“Investors rare hedging against what could be a hawkish reiteration of his press conference comment. That could cast some cold water over recent market rallies,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

However, weakening consumer confidence may have marginally helped to soften Treasury yields, weaken the dollar and boost stocks as investors viewed it as “ammunition for the Fed to soften its hawkish impulse,” the strategist added.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 50.35 points, or 0.15%, to 33,799.11, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 12.5 points, or 0.32%, to 3,951.44 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 79.10 points, or 0.72%, to 10,970.40.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) closed down 0.13% while MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) shed 0.09%.

U.S. Treasury yields rose in choppy trading as investors waited for upcoming data including third-quarter U.S. data on gross domestic product (GDP), Chicago manufacturing numbers, factory activity based on the Institute for Supply Management and non-farm payrolls for November due out Friday.

Benchmark 10-year notes were up 4.4 basis points to 3.746%, from 3.702% late on Monday. The 30-year bond was last up 5.4 basis points to yield 3.8032%, from 3.749%. The 2-year note was last was up 0.2 basis points to yield 4.4732%, from 4.471%.

“It’s going to be a busy second half of the week with all the data points we’re expecting. But the main focus will be on inflation and jobs,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy, at Societe Generale in New York.

The dollar index rose 0.188%, with the euro down 0.12% to $1.0325.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.22% versus the greenback at 138.63 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.1951, down 0.06% on the day.

The Aussie was last up 0.53% against the dollar after earlier rising as much as 1.4%.

Oil prices climbed on hopes for a relaxation of China’s strict COVID-19 controls, which had fueled demand concerns.

U.S. crude futures settled up 1.24% at $78.20 per barrel while Brent finished at $83.03, down 0.2%.

Gold prices rose with help from the dollar’s retreat and hopes for less aggressive U.S. rate hikes going forward.

Spot gold added 0.5% to $1,750.10 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.50% to $1,749.00 an ounce.

Related Galleries:

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 25, 2022. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

An electronic board shows Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes, at the Lujiazui financial district, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

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