Salem Radio Network News Saturday, December 2, 2023


U.S. yields hit 2007 levels as Fed signals, shutdown fears stoke angst

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury yields hit a peak not seen since the early tremors of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis on Tuesday, as mounting fears of rates staying elevated for longer sent jitters through risk assets globally and pushed the dollar to a 10-month high.

Asian and European stock benchmarks sagged, with U.S. equities set to follow suit, and crude oil retreated from 10-month highs on remarks from Federal Reserve officials that drove a bearish steepening of the U.S. yield curve.

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose as high as 4.566%, a 16-year peak, while a hefty pipeline of U.S. treasury auctions this week and fears of a U.S. government shutdown all further fed the skittish mood.

Euro zone bond yields also held near multi-year highs as the narrative that central banks will keep rates higher for longer held sway.

Germany’s 10-year government bond yield, the euro area’s benchmark, was last little changed on the day at 2.789%, having briefly hit a 12-year high of 2.813% in early trade.

The U.S. dollar index – which measures the currency against six major developed market peers, including the euro and yen – ticked up 0.2% to 106.2, the highest since November 2022, as the world’s biggest economy continued to outperform.

The benchmark STOXX index of 600 European shares slid 0.4%, in line with an earlier fall in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares.

Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.93%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.98% and mainland Chinese blue chips retreated 0.4%.

U.S. stock futures pointed 0.7% lower, following a 0.4% rise for the S&P 500 overnight.

Traders now put the odds of another quarter-point Fed hike by January at a coin toss, and have pushed the likely start of rate cuts to summer.

Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee said on Monday that inflation staying entrenched above the central bank’s 2% target remains a bigger risk than tight Fed policy slowing the economy more than needed.


Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said more rate hikes are likely needed given the surprising resilience of the U.S. economy.

The nervousness around U.S. government debt is exacerbated by efforts from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to advance steep spending cuts this week, which stand no chance of becoming law but could trigger a partial shutdown of the government by next Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers could be furloughed and public services suspended if Congress is unable to fund the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England have also touted higher rates for longer in policy meetings since the middle of the month.

The relative outperformance of the U.S. economy – with investors increasingly betting on a soft landing while growth in the euro zone and Britain stagnate – has buoyed the dollar against those currencies.

The euro sagged 0.08% to $1.0584, approaching the overnight low of $1.0575, a level last seen in mid-March.

Sterling slipped 0.23% to $1.2185, taking it back toward Monday’s six-month low of $1.21945.

The dollar also held near an 11-month peak of 148.97 yen from overnight, raising the risk of intervention by Japanese authorities.

Gold drifted slightly lower to $1,913.31, extending its slump from above $1,947 over the past week.

Crude oil remained weak amid concerns that fuel demand will be crimped by major central banks holding interest rates higher for longer, even with supply expected to be tight.

Brent crude futures were down 97 cents at $92.32 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading 92 cents lower at $89.76.


(Reporting by Kevin Buckland and Lawrence White; Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Kim Coghill and Sharon Singleton)


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