Summary List Placement
- US stock futures pointed higher on Friday after equities slipped on Thursday.
- Rising bond yields and mixed economic data has weighed on sentiment in recent days.
- Bitcoin hit an all-time high of above $52,800, taking year-to-date gains to around 80%.
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US stock futures pointed to a higher open on Friday after a week in which equities struggled for direction as bond yields rose, increasing borrowing costs and worrying some investors.
Yields on longer-dated US bonds climbed overnight and traded at around their highest level since February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.31% on Friday morning, after the benchmark index fell 0.44% on Thursday. Nasdaq futures climbed 0.37% and Dow Jones futures were up 0.25% after both indexes fell the previous day.
The European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.2% in morning trading while the UK’s FTSE 100 was just 0.02% higher. The British pound topped $1.40 for the first time since 2018, as investors cheered the UK’s fast vaccination drive.
Equities have had a subdued week after jumping in early February. Lawmakers continue to debate a possible $1.9 trillion stimulus package in the US and chew over economic data.
A sharp rise in bond yields has also weighed on stocks. When returns on bonds rise, the safe assets became more attractive to investors.
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, which moves inversely to the price, rose 1.9 basis points to 1.306% on Friday morning. That was near a one-year high of 1.33% touched on Wednesday.
“A resumption of the surge in global bond yields is starting to worry some traders,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at currency firm Oanda.
“Despite a firm Fed commitment that monetary policy will remain supportive and additional fiscal spending from the Biden administration, US stocks are ripe for a pullback if yields continue to go up.”
Nonetheless, the US stock rally has shown little sign of slowing down significantly yet. The S&P 500 is up around 4% in 2021 and 15% over the last 6 months.
The bitcoin price rose to an all-time high of above $52,800 on Friday as investors continued to pile into the cryptocurrency. Its year-to-date gain is now around 80%.
WTI crude oil slipped back from a roughly 14-month high caused by freeing temperatures battering Texas. It was down 1.57% on Friday morning to $59.56 a barrel. Brent crude was 1.13% lower at $63.20 a barrel.
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