Buy-Sell: Stocks ease, dollar holds ground as U.S. rate bets abound

Buy-Sell: Stocks ease, dollar holds ground as U.S. rate bets abound


Stocks slipped on Wednesday while the dollar continued to claw back last week’s losses as investors grappled with the prospect of an U.S. interest rate increase in the months ahead coming amid continued uncertainty about the strength of the international economy.

This uneasy balance helped shove the U.S. yield curve, the difference between 10-year and two-year returns, to its flattest in a month. A flattening yield curve is commonly seen as a harbinger of inflation, low growth and rates over the long term.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq came within a whisker of all-time highs on Tuesday.

European shares were dragged down by British mining giant Glencore (GLEN.L), which dropped 2.8 percent after reporting a drop in underlying profit and lowering its debt goal.

“As speculators play the dollar, global markets lack a clear direction,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group.

“Miners and energy stocks are again under selling pressure. Glencore’s meager first half results are a new reminder of how exposed the mining sector still is,” she said.

Britain’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX were also down 0.3 percent .FTSE .GDAXI.

Europe’s Basic Resources index .SXXP fell 1.6 percent, hit by copper prices languishing near six-week lows.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.4 percent, having grown more than 14 percent since late June. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 grew 0.6 percent, supported by a slightly weaker yen.

MSCI’s chief global stock index was down 0.2 percent .MIWD00000PUS