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World shares slip as higher US 10-year Treasury yield pressures Wall Street

Investors were keeping an eye on the Middle East, where Israel bombarded Gaza early Friday

Small cap stocks underperform in trade

Representational image. 

Hong Kong: World shares retreated as the prospect of a 5 per cent yield on the 10-year US Treasury for the first time since 2007 added to pressure on Wall Street, though the yield held steady below that level early Friday.

Germany's DAX fell 1 per cent to 14,868.33 and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 1.3per cent to $6,833.21. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.6per cent at 7,458.28. The futures for the S&P 500 and for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were virtually unchanged. Investors were keeping an eye on the Middle East, where Israel bombarded Gaza early Friday, hitting areas in the south where Palestinians had been told to seek safety.

Oil prices surged anew with escalating conflict fuelling supply concerns. The price of oil depends on how much of it is consumed and how much is available. The latter is under threat because of the Hamas-Israel war, even though the Gaza Strip is not home to major crude production. A barrel of benchmark US crude rose $1.36 to $89.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.05 to settle at $89.37 on Thursday.

Brent crude, the international standard, picked up $1.29 to $93.67 per barrel. In Asian trading, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.5per cent to 31,259.36 after the government reported that consumer inflation was higher than expected in September. The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, rose 2.8 per cent from a year earlier in September. It was the first time in 13 months that core CPI inflation has fallen below 3per cent. But when excluding both fresh food and fuel prices, inflation was 4.2per cent, still close to the 40-year peak of 4.3per cent recorded earlier this year.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.7per cent to 17,172.13 and the Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.7per cent to 2,983.06. China announced on Friday it was keeping its benchmark lending rates unchanged, with the one-year loan prime rate unchanged at 3.45per cent and the five-year LPR at 4.20per cent, in line with market expectations. That dashed hopes of a lift from a rate cut for the ailing property sector. The Kospi in Seoul lost 1.7per cent to 2,375.00. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 sank 1.2per cent to 6,900.70. India's Sensex was 0.3per cent lower.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell 0.8per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.7per cent. The Nasdaq composite sank 1per cent. As the reference point for much of the financial world, the 10-year Treasury yield helps set prices for all kinds of investments and loans. A higher 10-year yield makes mortgages more expensive, knocks down prices for investments and makes it costlier for companies to borrow and grow. Rapidly rising bond yields have been squeezing Wall Street since the summer. The yield on the 10-year Treasury touched 4.99per cent, up from 4.91per cent late Wednesday, before paring its gain to 4.98 per cent.

Early Friday, the 10-year Treasury yield was 4.94 per cent. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a speech Thursday that the Fed could raise interest rates again if US economic growth appears persistently strong. The Fed has raised rates to their highest level since 2001 hoping to curb price pressures by getting businesses and consumers to spend less. In currency trading Friday, the US dollar rose slightly to 149.93 Japanese yen from 149.78 yen. The euro cost $1.0590, little changed from $1.0579.

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