Markets see broad gains as US Fed signals another rate hike

Janet Yellen said waiting too long to raise rates could disrupt financial markets

Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve peaks during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington DC on Wednesday. Photograph: Bloomberg

Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve peaks during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington DC on Wednesday. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

Banks have led broad gains in global stocks on Wednesday morning after Janet Yellen said the Federal Reserve doesn’t need to wait for the Trump’s administration’s plans on fiscal stimulus to hike rates. The dollar strengthened and government bonds maintained declines.

The MSCI All-Country World Index - which measures international equity prices - approached a record and European stocks headed for the longest winning streak since July 2015 after US benchmark indexes reached fresh highs on Tuesday evening. In London, the FTSE 250 of mid-cap stocks hit a new record high for the fourth day in a row.

In Dublin the Iseq index of Irish shares was up 0.15 per cent in early trading, with Bank of Ireland shares up 2 per cent to 25p.

Chinese stocks in Hong Kong jumped the most in almost three months after record new credit fueled optimism about the strength of the economy. The dollar rose against the euro and yen, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed after four days of gains.

Markets were digesting comments from Yellen, who said said waiting too long to raise rates could disrupt financial markets.

The comments were seen as signalling another rise in US rates in the months ahead.

Odds for an increase in US borrowing costs next month climbed to 34 per cent. Inflation data Tuesday from China to America showed accelerating price gains at factories, bolstering the case for tightening before a reading on US consumer price data Wednesday.