Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

Stocks Shake Tech Woes to Close Up; Yields Climb: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks edged higher, led by energy-related companies, as equity markets shrugged off weakness in technology and threats of global trade barriers. Government bond yields increased as investors braced for higher U.S. borrowing rates.

Crude advanced to a three-week high as the OPEC-led alliance of major oil producers accelerated the time line for curbing a worldwide supply glut, helping to lift the shares of companies such as Hess Corp. and Marathon Petroleum Corp. Facebook Inc.’s mounting Cambridge Analytica data crisis continued to weigh on tech and draw the ire of politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

Stocks Shake Tech Woes to Close Up; Yields Climb: Markets Wrap

“Things have certainly gotten more volatile,” said Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas. “The Fed, that’s going to be the news tomorrow. Everybody is expecting a rate increase, and then of course the big selloff in tech.”

Investors are struggling to rediscover their bullishness in the wake of this week’s tech setbacks and with the Federal Reserve rate decision a day away.

Finance ministers from the world’s largest economies struggled to block President Donald Trump’s push to erect trade barriers that many warned threaten to undermine the broadest global expansion since 2010. Policy makers from the Group of 20 finished talks in Buenos Aires Tuesday with little to show for their efforts to convince U.S. to pare back protectionist steps, including new metal tariffs.

Elsewhere, the U.K. currency gave up its gains after data showed the nation’s inflation rate fell more than expected in February. Russia’s ruble steadied after six days of losses.

Terminal users can read more in our markets blog.

Here are some key events on the schedule this week:

  • The Fed decision and Jerome Powell’s news conference come on Wednesday.
  • The Trump administration could impose tariffs on China as soon as this week.
  • The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates and its asset-purchase program unchanged on Thursday. Attention will be on language and the odds for a May hike.
  • Company earnings scheduled for this week include Tencent, Hermes, PetroChina and Nike.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index edged 0.2 percent higher to 2,717.00 as of 4:01 p.m. New York time, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 percent to 24,729.82 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3 percent to 7,364.30.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.5 percent and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.2 percent.
  • The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.3 percent.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.4 percent, the first increase in five days.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4 percent.
  • The euro fell 0.7 percent to $1.2250, in the biggest drop in more than a week.
  • The British pound fell 0.2 percent to $1.4001.
  • The Japanese yen weakened 0.4 percent to 106.49 per dollar.
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index was little changed.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose three basis points to 2.88 percent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to 0.58 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield climbed four basis points to 1.48 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery, which expires Tuesday, rose 2.2 percent to settle at $63.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • Gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,311.91 an ounce.

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