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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, dollar climb as Fed lays out new inflation strategy

Thu, 27th Aug 2020 17:42

(Adds European markets close, comments)

* MSCI's global index climbs to new highs

* S&P 500, Nasdaq also at new records on inflation push

* Dollar gains as Fed pushes new strategy, as expected

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, Aug 27 (Reuters) - A gauge of world equity markets
and the dollar rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve said
it would roll out an aggressive new strategy that aims to boost
employment and allow inflation to run a bit faster for longer
than in the past.

Yields also gained on longer-dated government bonds as Fed
Chair Jerome Powell laid out a policy that will seek to achieve
inflation averaging 2% over time and offset below -2% periods
with higher inflation "for some time."

The Fed also aims to ensure employment doesn't fall short of
its maximum level, a new approach Powell said reflected an
appreciation "that a robust job market can be sustained without
causing an unwelcome increase in inflation."

The dollar rebounded after initially falling and gold prices
also flipped, retreating from early gains in reaction to
comments from Powell that investors had widely expected.

"Ultimately, this just means interest rates are going to
stay very, very low for even longer than we expected," said Esty
Dwek, head of global market strategy at Natixis Investment
Managers in Geneva.

"It's lower for even longer and the market was pretty much
anticipating this," Dwek said.

The dollar index rose 0.138%, spot gold prices
fell 1.37% to $1,926.66 an ounce while advancing shares
outnumbered declining stocks on Wall Street as the S&P 500, the
Nasdaq and MSCI's global equity benchmark all set new highs.

MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets
rose 0.18% to 585.08, but Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index
closed down 0.57% at 1,438.26.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose
0.92%, the S&P 500 gained 0.55% and the Nasdaq Composite
added 0.38%.

"The market will probably take some time to digest the
implications," said Nancy Davis, chief investment officer at
Quadratic Capital Management LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut.

"But I believe that a higher willingness to let inflation
run above 2% should hurt long-end bonds and inflation
expectations probably should increase," she said.

Powell's remarks on achieving full employment, one of the
Fed's dual mandates, came as new data suggested the labor market
recovery was stalling as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and
financial aid from the government dries up.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits hovered around 1 million last week, while the U.S.
economy suffered its sharpest contraction in at least 73 years
in the second quarter, two government entities said.

While the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 4.7
basis points to 0.7341%, it remained within a range it has
mostly held since March, when the Fed flooded the market with
liquidity to drive down market rates.

Safe-haven 10-year German bund yields rose to
their highest since early July at -0.384%.

The euro was last down 0.08% at $1.1820.

Spot gold prices fell 1.37% to $1,926.66 an ounce.

Oil prices fell as a massive hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico
made landfall in the heart of the U.S. oil industry, forcing oil
rigs and refineries to shut down.

Brent crude futures fell $0.42 to $45.22 a barrel.
U.S. crude futures slid $0.28 to $43.11 a barrel.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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