Bonds suffer fresh setback as US inflation fears mount

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US BOND prices suffered a fresh setback yesterday after unexpectedly strong consumer confidence figures revived fears of inflation pressures, writes Peter Torday.

The dollar weakened in New York after rising slightly in London, taking the dollar/yen rate below 100 for the second time this week. The US currency dropped from Y100.17 at the London finish to close at Y99.93 in New York.

The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond dropped almost two points in New York while Wall Street stocks slid 15.86 points to 3669.64. The declines followed a jump in the Conference Board's consumer confidence index to its highest point in nearly four years.

The US Treasury market again revived expectations of a tightening in monetary policy, which would take the key Federal Funds rate above the present 4.25 per cent. These concerns, coupled with the dollar's precarious rate against the yen, undermined the modest recovery since Monday. Against the mark, the dollar gave up a firmer London to end below the DM1.5800 level at DM1.5775.