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Inflation weighs on yields, dollar; stocks lackluster

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10/12/2017 | 10:18pm CEST
FILE PHOTO: Sheets of Lincoln five dollar bill are inspected with magnifying glass at  Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington

U.S. Treasury yields dipped and the dollar rose slightly on Thursday as investors awaited U.S. inflation data while Wall Street stock indexes fell as earnings season kicked off with a whimper.

U.S. Treasury prices gained after the Treasury Department saw strong demand for a sale of 30-year bonds.

While investors cheered an increase in the U.S. producer price index (PPI) for last month announced Thursday, inflation concerns were still in focus ahead of consumer price index (CPI) data on Friday after Federal Reserve minutes showed a more guarded view.

After four straight days of declines, the dollar index, tracking the greenback against a basket of major currencies <.DXY>, rose 0.07 percent.

"The move in the dollar index this week is primarily a correction to the big move that we had in September," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman. "It's largely corrective as the market awaits fresh signals."

Adding to this pressure, sterling jumped to its highest since Oct. 4, with analysts citing a report in Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper that the European Union could offer Britain a two-year transitional Brexit deal. Sterling <GBP=> was last trading at $1.3261, up 0.30 percent on the day.

In U.S. stocks, banks and media companies were the biggest drags on the S&P 500 as AT&T Inc (>> AT&T) fueled concerns about video subscribers and investors took fright at comments from JPMorgan (>> JP Morgan Chase & Company) and Citigroup's (>> Citigroup) earnings calls.

"People got a little bit spoiled by the very nice advances we saw in the first and second quarter, but keep in mind that earnings started perking up in the third quarter of last year so the year-over-year comparisons might not look as robust," said John Carey, portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management in Boston.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 31.88 points, or 0.14 percent, to end at 22,841.01, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 4.31 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,550.93 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 12.04 points, or 0.18 percent, to 6,591.51.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> rose 0.01 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.04 percent. The MSCI index reached a record high, as it has for seven of the past eight trading days.

Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> were last up 7/32 in price to yield 2.3195 percent, from 2.345 percent late on Wednesday.

The 30-year bond <US30YT=RR> was last up 15/32 in price to yield 2.8483 percent, from 2.876 percent late on Wednesday.

Also in currencies, the euro <EUR=> was down 0.15 percent to $1.1839 snapping four straight days of gains after rising to its highest since Sept. 25 earlier in the session.

Bitcoin smashed through the $5,000 barrier for the first time <BTC=BTSP> and was up 10.1 percent.

Oil prices fell after the U.S. Energy Department reported a larger-than-expected decline in U.S. inventories and a falloff in weekly production.

U.S. crude <CLcv1> fell 1.29 percent to $50.64 per barrel and Brent <LCOcv1> was last at $56.32, down 1.09 percent.

Spot gold <XAU=> added 0.1 percent to $1,293.37 an ounce.

For a graphic on world FX rates in 2017 click http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

For a graphic on Asian stock indexes click http://reut.rs/2xzXbPZ

(Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch, Karen Brettell and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in New York, John Geddie and Dhara Ranasinghe in London and Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo; Editing by Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish)

By Sinead Carew

Stocks treated in this article : Citigroup, AT&T, JP Morgan Chase & Company
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