Wall Street Opens Higher as Bond Market Tightness Unwinds; Dow up 240 Pts By Investing.com


Investing.com 09 July, 2021 - 08:41am 11 views

What are Treasury yields?

Treasury yield is the return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the U.S. government's debt obligations. ... But high long-term yields can also be a signal of rising inflation in the future. InvestopediaTreasury Yield Definition

U.S. Treasury yields bounced on Friday, easing some concerns about a global economic slowdown brought about in part because of the surprising decline in yields in recent months.

Treasury yields have been falling this past week, with the spread of the more transmissible delta Covid-19 variant dampening sentiment. The 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.43% at the end of last week. Back in March, it was as high as 1.78%.

In addition, the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims data showed an unexpected jump in first-time applicants in the week ended July 3. The data, released on Thursday, showed 373,000 unemployment insurance claims were filed last week, above economists' forecast of 350,000 initial claims.

David Marchant, chief investment officer at Canada Life Asset Management, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Friday that he believed that the "risk that inflation isn't controlled, that it does start to accelerate is not reflected in where government bonds, or bonds generally are trading."

There are no major economic data releases or Treasury auctions scheduled for Friday.

Over the weekend, Federal Reserve vice chair for supervision Randal Quarles is due to make a speech on the central bank's financial stability board and climate change at the Venice International Conference on Climate Change, at 9:20 a.m. ET on Sunday.

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Analysis: Falling U.S. bond yields may signal death knell for ‘reflation’ stock trade

Yahoo Finance 10 July, 2021 - 12:04pm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock investors are watching the dramatic moves in the Treasury market for clues on the fate of one of this year’s most successful plays - the so-called reflation trade that helped power shares of economically sensitive companies higher after nearly a decade of underperformance.

Investors piled in to shares of energy producers, banks and other companies expected to benefit from a powerful economic rebound earlier this year while betting that Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices, would rise.

That trade appears to be tottering now, as worries over slowing growth send yields tumbling to their lowest level since early 2021. [nL2N2OK0R4] While stock markets have appeared largely placid, with the S&P 500 hovering near a record high, a rotation beneath the surface has accelerated in recent weeks, as investors move out of economically sensitive names and back in to the big technology and growth stocks that led markets higher for most of the last decade.

"If we do see a further drop in interest rates, if we do get below that 1.3% level in any kind of meaningful way, that is going to confirm that growth over value has returned and it is not just a head fake," said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak.

Stocks pulled back on Thursday, with the S&P 500 down more than 1% in early trade.

The S&P 500 had gained 7% through Wednesday since the 10-year Treasury yield hit a recent high in mid-May. A look under the hood, however, shows signs that a change in stock-market leadership may be taking place. The Russell 1000 growth index gained over 13% since mid-May while the counterpart value index climbed about 1.5% over the same time.

"We do not expect the reflation and rotation trades to return to their former glory," while materials and energy stocks will likely be held back by falling commodity prices, noted Oliver Allen, markets economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients. "The big boost to rotation from recovering risk appetite and rising growth expectations may mostly be over," he said.

Graphic-U.S. value vs growth stocks in 2021 - https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-STOCKS/VALUE/xklvyxjlkpg/chart.png

Concerns about the economic impact of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and falling commodity prices are helping push bond prices higher. At the same time, the Federal Reserve surprised many investors last month with a hawkish turn that suggested two interest rate hikes by 2023, calling into question its commitment to allowing inflation to run hot for a time.

One key question for investors is whether recent signs of rising inflation - including the latest data on existing home prices, which showed them rising by their fastest pace in 15 years in April - will be short-lived.

Federal Reserve officials last month felt further progress on the U.S. economic recovery "was generally seen as not having yet been met," but agreed they should be poised to act if inflation or other risks materialized, minutes of the central bank's June policy meeting showed.

"The market going into the last FOMC meeting assumed that the Fed was comfortable with an inflation overshoot, but it became clear that the magnitude of how comfortable they were with an overshoot came down considerably," said Mike Sewell, a portfolio manager T Rowe Price, who expects that the 10-year Treasury has already hit its highest level for the year.

Stocks’ relative calm does not mean that equity investors are impervious to growth worries.

BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, said on Wednesday in its mid-year investment outlook that it cut its position in U.S. equities to neutral, in part due to expectations that corporate profit margins will decrease. [L2N2OJ1BS]

Meanwhile, a client survey from JP Morgan showed net bearish bets against Treasuries falling to their lowest level since late April in the week to July 6, while bullish positions stood at their highest since late March, suggesting there may be limited fuel for more downside moves in yield.

"It will be interesting to see how positioning unfolds to see if there is enough of a washout to make the market cleaner and just more driven by fundamentals,” said Chuck Tomes, associate portfolio manager on the global multi-sector fixed income team at Manulife Investment Management.

(Reporting by David Randall and Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in New York; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and Matthew Lewis)

Traders are no longer betting on steep inflation in the next five years as the Federal Reserve indicates it would like to start tightening policy 'sooner rather than later'

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) -The S&P Dow Jones Indices and FTSE Russell on late Wednesday decided to remove more Chinese companies from their indices after an updated U.S. executive order barred domestic investment in firms with alleged ties to China's military. The U.S. index publisher identified 25 Chinese companies that would be deleted from its index on Aug. 2, while FTSE Russell said it will remove an additional 20 firms on July 28. The decision is based on the feedback from index users and stakeholders, FTSE Russell said.

In fact, the June reading was 20% higher even than the highest the SKEW reached during the U.S. stock market’s February-March 2020 waterfall decline. To illustrate, imagine there are two groups of investors: permabears, who more or less permanently think that stock prices are about to fall, and the mainstream consensus, which is bullish. Consider the Crash Confidence Index, a periodic survey introduced in 1989 by Yale University finance professor Robert Shiller.

Bank stocks had been on a tear this year, gaining more than 30% as of early June. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF is now up only 17% for the year.

The excess in financial markets will have to unwind in a drastic manner, warns one veteran economist.

Bond yields continued to fall on Thursday, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note holding well below 1.3%, down dramatically from 1.45% at the beginning of the week and 1.6% just last month.

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The stock market just got hit with a pretty large sell-off. Here's a quick reason why.

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Analysis: U.S. bond managers say market has overshot, yields too low

Yahoo Finance 10 July, 2021 - 12:04pm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors at some of the largest U.S. asset managers are holding fast to the view that bond yields will move higher in the second half of this year, despite the recent slide in Treasury yields, which they see as a temporary move.

An unwind of short bets against Treasury debt as well as growing concerns about the recovery of the U.S labor market and the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has pushed down longer-dated U.S. government bond yields. The benchmark 10-year yield hit 1.296% on Wednesday and the 30-year yield fell to 1.918%, the lowest since February for both.

But big U.S. bond managers including BlackRock, PIMCO, DoubleLine and TCW still expect the reopening economy to drive growth and inflation, even if at a slower pace in the second half of this year, and send yields higher again. They see the broader move lower in yields since mid-May, and the accelerated move on Tuesday and Wednesday, as largely the result of investors' unwinding an overblown bet earlier in the year on higher rates.

"The view for a while there in February and March seemed very clear," said Gregory Whiteley, U.S. government securities portfolio manager at DoubleLine. "Everyone was getting on board, everyone was getting short, every strategist you heard from was calling for higher rates by the end of the year.

"And it does seem like it got a bit ahead of itself," he said. "Everyone was on one side of the boat, everyone had the same outlook, and then the doubts started to creep in."

But Whiteley said bond yields have "gone too far to the downside now, so we've overshot in the other direction."

Some traders said the move this week was due to an unwind of bets by hedge funds. A weekly survey of JPMorgan clients on July 6 showed that net bearish bets against Treasuries fell to their lowest level since April.

"The recent rally hasn't changed our fundamental outlook. This move for us looks more technical," said Bret Barker, Treasury portfolio manager at TCW, who sees the 10-year yield at 1.6%-2% by the end of the year.

A June Reuters poll showed that fixed income strategists expected the 10-year yield to rise to 2.0% by June 2022.

The so-called reflation trade - bets on skyrocketing inflation and growth - drove yields up to pre-pandemic levels in March. But longer-dated yields have fallen as inflation expectations have dropped.

Jobs data for April, May and June that showed a mixed picture of the U.S. labor market recovery has also dampened some growth expectations. Data on Tuesday showed U.S. service sector activity grew at a moderate pace in June.

"Right now the reflation trade is not dead, but it's certainly hibernating," said Michael Sewell, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price, who sees yields rising, though he believes the 10-year peaked for 2021 in March at 1.776%.

Erin Browne, portfolio manager for multi-asset strategies at bond giant PIMCO, pointed to a "pretty significant flattening" of the yield curve in recent months, driven by inflation breakeven rates that have fallen since hitting multi-year highs in mid-May.

The spread between two- and 10-year yields - the most common measure of the yield curve – has narrowed by more than 50 basis points since hitting a six-year peak in March.

"All of that is telling you that the market is reaching this peak growth, peak inflation inflection point. And that really accelerated yesterday and today," said Browne.

The move this week has driven yields below fair value, said Browne, who expects to see the 10-year yield at 1.5%-2% in the second half of 2021.

Asset managers have been looking for ways to take advantage of the moves. BlackRock in its mid-year investment outlook presented Wednesday said it views current bond market valuations as "very full" and has turned more bearish on U.S. Treasuries.

"We've used that opportunity of falling yields to establish a shorter or a more underweight duration position," said Scott Thiel, chief fixed income strategist at BlackRock, during the presentation.

(Reporting by Kate Duguid; additional reporting by David Randall; editing by Megan Davies and Leslie Adler)

Traders are no longer betting on steep inflation in the next five years as the Federal Reserve indicates it would like to start tightening policy 'sooner rather than later'

(Bloomberg) -- The rally in U.S. Treasuries forged on, sending 10- and 30-year yields to the lowest levels since February, as expectations for an inflationary economic recovery continued to fade.After grappling with reflation premonitions for months, bond bulls are finally regaining the upper hand. The rate on 10-year Treasuries fell below 1.30% on Wednesday and the 30-year breached 1.92% as the delta strain of Covid-19 hobbled hopes for an imminent end to the crisis and a normalization of centr

A breakneck rally in U.S. government bonds continued on Thursday, with 10-year Treasury yields falling to their lowest levels since early-2021 as investors sensed cracks in the economic recovery and cooling risks of high inflation. The S&P 500 is currently indicated to open down about 1.25%, and in a sign of just how uniform the decline has been, both the Dow and Nasdaq futures are also in the red by about the exact same amount.

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Stock investors are watching the dramatic moves in the Treasury market for clues on the fate of one of this year’s most successful plays - the so-called reflation trade that helped power shares of economically sensitive companies higher after nearly a decade of underperformance. Investors piled in to shares of energy producers, banks and other companies expected to benefit from a powerful economic rebound earlier this year while betting that Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices, would rise.

The 10-year briefly dipped below 1.30%, a sign of either slowing growth or a precursor to a sudden rise. What they would mean for the stock market.

Investors confounded by the recent rally in U.S. Treasuries despite inflation running hot in a roaring economy are pointing to the simplest explanation for a move higher in prices: more buying than selling. U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit 1.25% - their lowest levels since February - on Thursday, the latest leg lower in a move that has left many an investor scratching their heads.

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The stock market just got hit with a pretty large sell-off. Here's a quick reason why.

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Price of Gold Fundamental Daily Forecast - Early Pressure from Rising Treasury Yields, Firm US Dollar

FX Empire 10 July, 2021 - 12:04pm

Investors are monitoring the direction of Treasury yields for clues as to the timing of its next major move. If yields continue to fall then gold is likely to be underpinned. However, if yields rebound from this week’s low then gold could feel renewed selling pressure.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields are edging higher on Friday, from a more than four-month low hit in the previous session, while the dollar bounced back from yesterday’s weak session. Higher yields translate into a higher opportunity cost for holding non-yielding bullion, while a stronger dollar tends to reduce foreign demand for dollar-denominated gold.

At 09:56 GMT, August Comex gold is trading $1804.60, up $4.40 or +0.24%.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s Mary Daly told the Financial Times that low vaccination rates in some regions of the world pose a threat to the United States and global growth, adding that the central bank was fully committed to eliminating shortfalls in employment.

The Olympics will take place without spectators in host city Tokyo, organizers said on Thursday, as a resurgent coronavirus forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will run throughout the Games.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was essential to prevent Tokyo, where the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 variant was spreading, from becoming a flashpoint of new infections.

“We absolutely must avoid Tokyo being the starting point again of another spread of the infection,” Suga told a news conference.

Gold is being underpinned by concerns over the U.S. labor market recovery given last week’s mixed U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls report and Thursday’s surprise weekly initial claims rise.

U.S. jobless claims rose slightly last week to 373,000, above a forecast 350,000 applications in a Reuters poll. Recent labor market reports indicate substantial progress needs to be made for the Fed to raise interest rates.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes from its June 15-16 meeting showed “various participants” felt conditions for reducing the central bank’s asset purchases would be “met somewhat earlier than they had anticipated.”

There aren’t any major U.S. economic releases on Friday, but gold could still be driven by the stock market’s performance.

Another sharp sell-off in U.S. equities could drive investors into the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds, pushing yields lower. If yields drop below yesterday’s three-month low then gold could break out to the upside.

Covid Fears and Lower Yields Can’t Keep the Stock Market Down

Barron's 09 July, 2021 - 06:54pm

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers visit http://www.djreprints.com.

Everything went wrong this past week—and yet everything ended up all right for the stock market.

On the surface, it doesn’t look like much happened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 83.81 points, or 0.2%, to 34,870.16, while the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, to 4369.55, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%, to 14,701.92. The indexes even managed to finish the week at record highs. It’s exactly the kind of action we’d expect from a holiday-shortened trading week—except that it wasn’t.

The Dow experienced a range of 736.73 points, or 2.2%, as investors briefly freaked out. About what? It was hard to tell, but it seemed to be driven by the Treasury market, where the 10-year note tumbled as low as 1.2455% on Thursday from 1.434% on July 2, before closing at 1.354%.

Raise your hand if you thought Covid-19 had lost the ability to shake the market. We sure did. But make no mistake—Covid fears were driving some of the moves on Thursday. The Dow sank more than 400 points after Japan declared a state of emergency and announced there would be no spectators at the Summer Olympics, though it later recovered a solid chunk of those losses.

Even before that decline, a basket of Covid-sensitive stocks had dropped 6.2% during the first week of July, while tech stocks that had performed well during the lockdown gained 3.2%, notes Steve Englander, head of global G-10 FX research at Standard Chartered. The 10-year Treasury yield fell 0.15 percentage point over that period.

The fact that yields and the performance of reopening stocks are moving together makes him worried about the potential for Covid to upend the market, even though the economic impact wouldn’t be as bad as last year’s lockdowns. “The 2020 links between Covid risk and yields were more direct as elevated economic risks from Covid were seen as leading to further central bank stimulus,” Englander writes.

Renewed Covid fears don’t mean the market has to fall, but they’re worth watching. And Covid isn’t the only issue at play. Concerns about peak growth are triggered by nearly every data release. This past week a disappointing ISM services survey—it fell to 60.1 in June from 64 in May, below forecasts for 63.5—seemed to trigger selling on Tuesday. Never mind that a reading above 60 is still very, very strong. Here’s a little secret: There’s a good chance economic growth has peaked, but that doesn’t have to signal the end of a bull market.

Far from it. There have been seven economic expansions since 1970, and the average one lasted 37 quarters past the strongest quarter of gross-domestic-product growth, writes Callie Bost, senior investment strategist at Ally Invest. Only two saw peak growth come during the final year of the expansion, and one came during the 1980-81 recovery, which lasted only 12 months.

A recurrence is always a possibility, but the odds favor more growth—even if it has peaked. “It’s typical to see the economy bounce back quickly after a recession as spending and confidence comes back,” Bost writes. “As the cycle ages, that energy can wear off, and growth usually falls into a more normal pace.”

The stock market’s rise likely will too. There will be ups. There will be downs. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Write to Ben Levisohn at Ben.Levisohn@barrons.com

Everything went wrong this past week—and yet everything ended up all right for the stock market.

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Treasury yields rise, U.S. stocks hit new highs; dollar weakens

Yahoo Finance 09 July, 2021 - 04:33pm

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Treasury yields extended their rise on Friday while the three major U.S. stock indexes rallied to record closing highs, as markets relaxed a bit from fears of a slowing pace of economic recovery from COVID-19 that dominated trading for much of the week.

In currencies, the safe-haven yen weakened 0.32% versus the greenback at 110.14 per dollar, while the dollar index fell 0.205%, and the euro edged up 0.24% to $1.1871.

Signs of risk relief were tempered, however, as spot gold, another safe-haven asset, logged its third straight weekly gain, rising 0.3% to $1,807.65 an ounce.

Concern about a faltering recovery, driven in part by the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, had reduced risk appetite early in the week and prompted flight-to-safety bond buying, with some betting the reflation trade had stalled.

That action helped push 10-year U.S. government bond yields to a 4-1/2 month low on Thursday. Data released on Friday showed investors through July 6 were reducing short bond positions, which also weighed on yields.

Still, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose 7.7 basis points to 1.365% on Friday.

“The downward pressure in yields from continual buying just frankly ran out of steam … at these levels,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia.

Stocks rose as financials and other economically focused sectors rallied from the selloff sparked by growth worries earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 448.23 points, or 1.3%, to 34,870.16, while the broad S&P 500 gained 48.73 points, or 1.13%, to 4,369.55.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite added 142.13 points, or 0.98%, to 14,701.92.

Investors will next gauge risk appetite by assessing results of auctions of $38 billion of 10-year Treasury notes on Monday, and $24 billion of 30-year bonds on Tuesday.

“If auction demand is a little bit squishy, especially at the 10-year sale, then we could see 1.45% in a hurry,” LeBas said, referring to the effect on the 10-year Treasury yield if investors resume selling.

Concerns remain that vaccination alone won’t squelch the virus enough to get economies back to normal.

Pfizer and partner BioNTech said they plan to ask regulators to authorize a booster dose of their vaccine, based on evidence of greater risk of infection six months after inoculation and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

That has stoked fears “that in the fall, we might be shutting down again,” said Tom di Galoma, managing director at Seaport Global Holdings in New York.

Aligned against such fears: loose monetary policy from major central banks. But that support may vanish if inflation spikes.

Oil prices added to overnight gains as U.S inventories declined. U.S. crude was up 2.3% to $74.62 per barrel and Brent was at $75.58, up 1.97% on the day.

(Additional reporting by Simon Jessop Abhinav Ramnarayan, Swati Pandey and Sujata Rao; Editing by Timothy Heritage, William Maclean and Chizu Nomiyama)

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

While the stocks that pay dividends generally do so on a quarterly basis, there is a select group of companies that pay them out monthly. Here are two REITs that income investors might appreciate knowing about, that pay monthly dividends, and that have above-market yields. Realty Income (NYSE: O) is a Dividend Aristocrat that calls itself The Monthly Dividend Company.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The three major U.S. stock indexes rallied to record closing highs on Friday as financials and other economically focused sectors rebounded from a selloff sparked by growth worries earlier in the week.

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Treasury yields extended their rise on Friday while the three major U.S. stock indexes rallied to record closing highs, as markets relaxed a bit from fears of a slowing pace of economic recovery from COVID-19 that dominated trading for much of the week. That action helped push 10-year U.S. government bond yields to a 4-1/2 month low on Thursday. Still, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose 7.7 basis points to 1.365% on Friday.

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Square and PayPal are among a batch of payment-related stocks near buy points that are worth a look.

In this article, we discuss the 10 best Vanguard stocks to buy now based on Vanguard Group’s holdings.. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to the 5 Best Vanguard Stocks to Buy Now. Vanguard stocks, which we will analyze in this article based on Vanguard Group’s holdings, are […]

Paypal (PYPL)co-founder Peter Thiel’s $5 billion Roth individual retirement account balance has some members of Congress second-guessing the tax policies of these investment vehicles. Massachusetts Democratic Representative Richard Neal, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, has requested a proposal to “stop IRAs from being exploited,” he told ProPublica, which first reported about Thiel’s Roth IRA. ProPublica’s report used tax documents to reveal the tech giant’s account grew from less than $2,000 in 1999 to $5 billion today, thanks in part to investments in private securities.

Investing in China is even trickier than usual these days, leading some to wonder if it’s worth the trouble.

Advanced Micro Devices has delivered massive returns over the past six years for risk-tolerant, patient investors.

In this article, we will be looking at the 10 best dividend stocks for long term. To skip our detailed analysis of dividend investing, you can go directly to see the 5 Best Dividend Stocks for Long Term. Dividend investing is a strategy that has managed to stick around as long as it has for two […]

More specifically, the lowest price target among Wall Street analysts for each of the following companies implies a minimum decline of 90% over the next 12 months. Perhaps it's no surprise that one of the most polarizing stocks, at least from a price target perspective, is a meme stock. Movie theater chain AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC), which is a favorite among retail investors on Reddit, currently has a $1 12-month price target from Eric Handler at MKM Partners.

Readers hoping to buy AbbVie Inc. ( NYSE:ABBV ) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is...

Elizabeth Warren has sharp words for Wells Fargo. The bank is discontinuing personal lines of credit and will shut down existing ones in the coming weeks, CNBC reported, citing customer letters it has reviewed. In a “frequently asked questions” section of a letter sent by the back, Wells Fargo warned that the discontinuation of such bank accounts may impact customers’ credit scores.

Many retirees paying almost no tax early in retirement then get hit with stiff tax bills in their 70s after they start collecting Social Security and begin required distributions. Retirees instead should be focused on reducing their lifetime taxes, and that often means paying more tax in early retirement

The stock market put in a strong showing on Friday, sending the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) to new record levels. Earlier this year, the investing thesis for many fast-growing companies got called into question by changing macroeconomic conditions. For many investors, Snowflake has been a colossal disappointment.

Gold price on track for third straight weekly gain

MINING.com 09 July, 2021 - 10:26am

Gold prices are poised for a third weekly advance as fears that coronavirus variants may endanger the global economic recovery caused investors to opt for havens.

Spot gold once again held above the $1,800 level, rising 0.2% by 11:00 a.m. ET to 1,807.68 an ounce. US gold futures were trading at $1,807.40 an ounce, up 0.4% for the session.

Bullion is coming off its worst month in recent history in June, during which prices hit a 10-week low and tanked nearly 7% by month-end. Additionally, flows into global gold ETFs remained mostly flat for the month, according to data from the World Gold Council.

However, gold is gradually winning back investors thanks to a sharp decline in US treasury yields, which burnish the appeal of the non-interest bearing metal.

Renewed virus fears around the world have taken the edge off the so-called reflation trade, causing global stocks to drop. The risks to the recovery were underscored this week by Federal Reserve minutes that highlighted continued uncertainties, and on Thursday by a rise in US jobless claims.

Meanwhile, China also loosened its lending requirements for financial institutions, a sign policy makers there see the need for economic support to be stepped up.

“Commodities came under pressure as policy makers around the world flagged risk to their economies from rising cases of covid-19 variants,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group said in a note to Bloomberg.

“Demand for safe haven assets rose following a lift in US initial jobless claims,” it added.

Next week, investors will turn their attention to US CPI data due Tuesday for signs prices are rising despite sluggish growth.

Gold often benefits when interest rates are kept low while inflation expectations rise, which causes real bond yields to decline.

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