By Chibuike Oguh
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Global equities fell while U.S. Treasury yields rose on Thursday as investors weighed hawkish commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the prospects of further interest rate hikes targeted at reining in inflation.
Market sentiments have been bearish after the Fed on Wednesday raised rates by 75 basis points and Powell said during a press conference that the “ultimate level” of interest rates is likely higher than previously estimated, and the central bank still has “some ways to go.”
Traders, who were expecting the Fed to strike a more dovish stance after delivering its fourth consecutive rate hike, were rattled.
“We’ve done 400 basis points in eight months – one of the steepest ascents in tightening in history – and to not sit back and see for a few months how the data comes in is just reckless,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital in New York.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, was down 1.89%. European stocks dropped 1% after the Bank of England delivered its biggest rate rise since 1989.
On Wall Street, all three major indexes were lower in late morning trading, led by a selloff in technology, communication services, financials, healthcare, and consumer discretionary stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.42% to 32,013.01, the S&P 500 lost 0.82% to 3,728.94 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.18% to 10,400.74.
“I think the kind of double talk that we saw yesterday is really beginning to massively erode the credibility of anything they say. What’s going to happen is that at some point, they’re going to talk hawkish and the market is going to rally,” Hayes added.
Treasury yields jumped, with the two-year note climbing toward 5%, following comments by the Fed chair and the interest rate hikes by the U.S. and British central banks.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year note rose to 4.145%, while the two-year yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was up at 4.697%.
(Editing by William Maclean)