Global Equities, U.S. Yields Rise Despite Weak Economic Growth

( The US gross domestic product increased at a 2% annualized rate last quarter – far below the 7% expected growth. It is the slowest increase since the second quarter of 2020 when the economy was struggling under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The weak GDP figure was offset by continued improvement in jobless claims, which dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000 last week.

All three major stock indexes ended Thursday’s session higher, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq boasting record closing levels fueled partly by gains from Apple Inc and Amazon Inc. However, both companies posted results after the close that missed expectations.

The MSCI All World Stock Index rose 0.71 percent to 746.98 points, just below its lifetime high of 749.16 points hit last month.

In Europe, the STOXX index of 600 companies rose 0.24 percent to 475.16 after the European Central Bank left its monetary policy unchanged.

On Thursday, the yield on the US 20-year bond rose slightly above the 30-year bond yield for the first time, a move that garnered attention since investors believe inverted yield curves can be a harbinger of recession.

The benchmark US 10-year yield was trading up at 1.577 percent.

Given the PCE run rate, there is a feeling among investors that at some point the Fed is likely to raise rates.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.68 percent to 35,730.48, the S&P 500 gained 0.98 percent to 4,596.42, and the Nasdaq added 1.39 percent to 15,448.12.

The US dollar, meanwhile, held losses to the euro and British pound late, as currency traders digested moves in interest rate markets, a weaker-than-expected US economic report, as well as Thursday’s comments by the European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. Lagarde on Thursday acknowledged that inflation will be high for even longer, but pushed back against market bets that price pressures would trigger an interest rate hike as soon as next year.

The dollar index of major currencies lost nearly 0.6 percent to 93.349, with the euro up 0.67 percent to $1.1682.