| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Shares mixed in volatile market after U.S. inflation data

On Tuesday, the dollar was little moved and U.S. equity indexes were divided after data revealed that consumer inflation in the country remained stable in January, delaying predictions of when the Federal Reserve will stop raising interest rates.

The benchmark S&P 500 index (.SPX) fluctuated between positive and negative territory, and after momentarily falling after the data, U.S. Treasury yields were up.

The consumer price index increased 6.4% in the 12 months through January, marking its smallest annual rise since late 2021 but faster than the 6.2% economists had expected.

Month-on-month, consumer prices rose 0.5% in January, after gaining 0.1% in December, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.

“The concern today is that inflation is not coming down fast enough and the Fed has to stay hawkish. When the bond market gets jittery it translates into the stock market,” said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

Along with the data, Augustine pointed to contrasting messages from officials as a reason for the stock market’s struggle to find a direction on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said the Fed is not finished raising rates yet but is “likely close.”

But New York Fed President John Williams said that while inflation is moderating, the central bank has a ways to go to slow price increases and that it may take years to hit its 2% inflation target.

In currencies, the dollar index rose 0.048%, with the euro up 0.13% to $1.0734. This was well above the greenback’s session low, which was a decline of 0.73%, but below its session high, which was a 0.26% gain.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.49% versus the greenback at 133.07 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.2168, up 0.27% on the day.

In U.S. Treasuries, benchmark 10-year notes were up 4.4 basis points to 3.763%, from 3.719% late on Monday. The 30-year bond was last up 0.9 basis points to yield 3.8014%, from 3.792%. The 2-year note was last was up 9 basis points to yield 4.6239%, from 4.534%.

Oil prices fell after the U.S. government said it would release more crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve lifting some supply concerns from the market.

U.S. crude settled down 1.35% at $79.06 per barrel and while Brent finished at $85.58, down 1.19%.

Spot gold added 0.1% to $1,854.99 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.11% to $1,854.00 an ounce.

  • Reuters