AP and Reuters

Bond yields ease, stocks near flat ahead of Fed minutes


U.S. Treasury yields fell again and global stock indexes were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting, while oil prices dropped even as fighting continued between Palestinian militants and Israel.

The dollar slipped after data showed U.S. producer prices increased more than expected in September but underlying inflation pressures at the factory gate continued to moderate.

Also key to investors will be September’s consumer price data, which is due Thursday.

The Fed minutes are due later Wednesday, and investors will assess them for further hints about the economic outlook and where U.S. rates are heading.

Oil prices spiked on Monday in the wake of Hamas’ weekend attack on southern Israel. On Wednesday, Israel formed an emergency unity government as it pounded Gaza to root out Hamas.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 21.34 points, or 0.06%, to 33,717.96, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 2.55 points, or 0.06%, to 4,360.79 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 73.26 points, or 0.54%, to 13,636.10.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) rose 0.15% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) gained 0.19%.

Global stocks have edged higher in recent sessions with U.S. bond yields – which underpin borrowing costs around the world – easing as Fed officials have suggested interest rate hikes may be over for now.

“There’s optimism that the disinflation process is still intact despite some of the hot numbers that we got today,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York, adding that building material margins had impacted the data.

The dollar index , which tracks the U.S. currency against six others, touched a two-week low of 105.550, while the euro rose to its highest since Sept. 25 at $1.0634.

In Treasuries, the U.S. 10 year yield was down at 4.59%.

U.S. crude fell 2.68% to $83.67 per barrel and Brent was at $85.73, down 2.19% on the day.

In other commodities, spot gold added 0.5% to $1,870.09 an ounce.

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