Stocks Steady Near Record Highs; Bonds Hold Losses: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Stocks traded with little fanfare Friday as holidays across Asia curbed trading, and U.S. and European equity futures were little changed. Treasuries held overnight losses in the wake of data signaling a modest firming in the labor market.

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Early gains fizzled for shares in Japan and Australian stocks slipped. S&P 500 futures were flat after the benchmark on Thursday eked out a gain to close at an all-time high. Strength in tech shares ensured the Nasdaq 100 outperformed. Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell slightly last week in a sign that the labor market is still gradually improving. The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at about 1.16%. The dollar was steady against most G-10 peers.

Elsewhere, crude oil retreated following the International Energy Agency’s bleaker outlook for global demand. Walt Disney Co. climbed post market after strong growth in its streaming services. Bitcoin climbed to a record.

© Bloomberg U.S. equity benchmark snaps two-day slide with late-session gain

After a sharp run-up in global equities to a record high this year and signs central banks will keep supportive monetary policy in place, a debate is rumbling over whether more stimulus along with the vaccine distribution will cause inflation to overheat.

“My big concern is that we get the mother of all melt ups and we get to those levels earlier and that generates a material risk of a melt down in the autumn,” James Bevan, chief investment officer at CCLA Investment Management Ltd. said on Bloomberg TV.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 10:37 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 0.2% on Thursday.Japan’s Topix index dipped 0.1%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3%Euro Stoxx 50 futures were little changed.

Currencies

The yen was at 104.80 per dollar.The offshore yuan traded at 6.4212 per dollar.The euro bought $1.2130.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 1.16%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.8% to $57.79 a barrel.Gold was at $1,823.89 an ounce.

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