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U.S. Treasuries, Wall Street stocks steady after Fed minutes

Stock MarketsOct 11, 2017 03:19PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury prices and stocks worldwide were little changed on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's September policy meeting were in line with expectations, while the euro was higher after Catalonia held off on moving to independence.

The euro move helped push the dollar index down for the fourth day in row. The dollar briefly extended its drop after Fed minutes showed that policymakers had a prolonged debate about the prospects of a pickup in inflation and the path of future interest rate rises if it did not.

Wall Street's major stock indexes clung to small gains as a jump in shares of defensive sectors such as utilities was offset by declines in sectors such as financials a day before the start of the quarterly corporate reporting season.

"Third-quarter results of large banks are expected to be tepid," said Stephen Biggar, an analyst at Argus Research. "Trading revenue (will be) down due to low volatility and loan growth remaining flat to slightly negative."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was up 22.61 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,853.29, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 2.01 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,552.65 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 8.79 points, or 0.13 percent, to 6,596.04.

The euro reached a roughly two-week high after Catalonia's leader, Carles Puigdemont, declined to make a formal independence declaration on Tuesday to allow for talks with Madrid. That disappointed many pro-independence supporters but pleased financial markets.

A 1.3-percent jump in Spain's IBEX (IBEX) more than reversed the previous session's fall while the broader equities market showed a lackluster performance.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index (FTEU3) lost 0.01 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe (MIWD00000PUS) gained 0.16 percent.

Meanwhile, the dollar index (DXY) fell 0.33 percent, with the euro up 0.4 percent to $1.1853.

It was also affected by U.S. President Donald Trump's spat with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker - an influential fellow Republican - which raised concerns that Trump's tax reform push may be in jeopardy.

U.S. Treasuries were little changed after the Fed minutes and after the Treasury Department saw solid demand for three-year and 10-year note supply.

Benchmark 10-year notes (US10YT=RR) were virtually unchanged in price to yield 2.3445 percent, from 2.345 percent late on Tuesday.

The 30-year bond (US30YT=RR) was last up 3/32 in price to yield 2.8768 percent, from 2.881 percent late on Tuesday.

Oil prices were virtually unchanged on Wednesday as Saudi Arabia said it pumped more in September than in August, even as OPEC forecast higher demand for 2018.

U.S. crude rose 0.73 percent to $51.29 per barrel and Brent was last at $56.88, up 0.48 percent.

Gold prices were barely up after declining in the previous session. Spot gold added 0.2 percent to $1,289.80 an ounce.

U.S. Treasuries, Wall Street stocks steady after Fed minutes

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