U.S. markets fluctuate as dollar surges, bonds gain

U.S. markets fluctuate as dollar surges, bonds gain

Boeing and Brexit otherwise dominated headlines, as the planemaker's woes deepened and the pound fell before a key vote.

The yuan weakened. Treasuries erased a drop and the dollar gained, holding those moves as data showed U.S. unemployment rose to a four-week high.

Wednesday's vote boosted investor optimism in European equities too, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index climbing 0.6 percent while London's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent as sterling extended gains. U.K. lawmakers have rejected the idea of tearing the country out of the European Union with no agreement, and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be planning to seek an extension to the March 29 Brexit deadline lasting about two months. Emerging-market stocks declined for the first time in three days.

Other data showed new orders for key US -made capital goods rose by the most in six months in January and shipments also rose, but business spending on equipment remained soft, leaving forecasts for weak first-quarter economic growth intact.

The immediate focus for the Aussie was on Chinese activity data such as industrial output, investment and retail sales due at 0200 GMT.

China's National People's Congress is set to wrap up on Friday.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will speak on Friday, after he and his board meet to decide on monetary policy.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5 percent while Australian and New Zealand shares each added 0.2 percent. NY time to the highest in more than five months.Futures on the S&P 500 Index were unchanged at the highest in more than four months.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent.The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.1 percent.The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed 0.6 percent to the highest in more than three weeks on the largest increase in more than a week.

Sterling was down 0.4 per cent at US$1.3285 (RM5.428) after going as high as US$1.3380 the previous day, its strongest since June 2018. Nikkei slumped 1% to 21290.24 with yen little changed against the dollar as data showed domestic machinery orders fall in January accelerated.

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The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.63 percent.

The Japanese yen decreased 0.5 percent to 111.744 per dollar. This is the latest sign of benign inflation, supporting the Federal Reserve's wait-and-see approach to further interest rate hikes this year.The euro was up 0.41 percent at $1.1332.

Investors were watching the data for clues about the health of China's economy after growth cooled to 6.6 percent a year ago.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes fell 2/32 in price to push yields up to 2.6141 percent.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell 0.2 percent.

US crude rose $1.39 to settle at $58.26 per barrel and Brent settled up 88 cents at $67.55. US crude oil futures settled at $58.26 a barrel, rising $1.39 cents, or 2.44 percent.

-With assistance from Sophie Caronello, Cormac Mullen and Adam Haigh.

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