Nikkei rises as strong-yen trend pauses; SoftBank surges
TOKYO, May 25 Japanese stocks rose on Thursday as the strong-yen trend paused, while a surge in index-heavyweights such as SoftBank supported sentiment.
* Markets still react to Trump remarks on dollar, rates
* Wall Street equity indexes little changed
* Oil futures mixed, treasury yields pull off lows (Updates to U.S. open, adds commentary, changes byline, previous dateline LONDON)
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, April 13 The U.S. dollar rebounded on Thursday after sliding a day earlier following remarks by President Donald Trump on the currency and interest rates, while a consumer sentiment survey helped lift U.S. Treasury yields off five-month lows.
The benchmark S&P 500 stock index was modestly higher as strength in U.S. technology and financial stocks offset declines in sectors like energy and consumer staples.
The U.S. dollar had tumbled Wednesday after Trump told the Wall Street Journal the greenback "getting too strong" and would eventually hurt the U.S. economy. Treasury yields fell after Trump said he would like to see interest rates stay low.
"Clearly, I think (the dollar) was oversold yesterday," said Peter Ng, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California. "The market was very sensitive to headlines given how nervous it has become due to geopolitical risk."
Trading was thinner than usual during an abbreviated week, with the impending holiday for Good Friday in the United States and Europe, Ng said.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six trade-weighted peers, was up 0.4 percent, after a 0.6 percent decline on Wednesday marked its biggest one-day fall in three weeks.
The dollar was up 0.2 percent at $109.22 against the Japanese yen, having hit a five-month low of 108.73 yen in early Asian trading.
YIELDS OFF LOWS
U.S. Treasury yields hit session highs, pulling away from five-month lows earlier in the day, after a University of Michigan survey showed U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly improved in early April.
Before the data, Trump's favorable view of low interest rates had intensified this week's bond market rally that was underpinned by geopolitical worries.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was 2.264 percent, down 3 basis points from late on Wednesday. It touched 2.218 percent earlier in the day, the lowest since Nov. 17.
The MSCI all-world stock index was little changed with a 0.01 percent increase.
U.S. stocks were little changed as investors assessed the first rush of bank earnings and Trump's remarks on the dollar's strength and interest rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.12 points, or 0.04 percent, to 20,600.98, the S&P 500 gained 2.26 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,347.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.86 points, or 0.31 percent, to 5,854.02.
The S&P 500 bank subsector was boosted by stronger than expected earnings at JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup . However, Wells Fargo & Co was a drag with a 1.5 percent decline after it reported a big drop in mortgage banking revenue.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of large companies was down 0.4 percent, putting it on track for a loss for the holiday-shortened week.
In commodities, oil prices were mixed after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the market was nearing balance, but U.S. data showed higher production. U.S. crude was down 0.2 percent to $53.04 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent was up 0.3 percent at $56.02.
Gold fell 0.09 percent to $1,284.90 an ounce after hitting a five-month high earlier in the session.
(Additional reporting by Dion Rabouin in New York, Jamie McGeever, Abhinav Ramnarayan in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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