The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for borrowing costs for a wide variety of debt, briefly rose above 4 percent for the first time since October 2008, as investors anticipated that interest rates would rise rapidly as central banks tightened their policies to fight persistent inflation. After its jump, the 10-year yield came down somewhat, to below 3.9 percent.
Britain’s central bank announced that it would buy government bonds on “whatever scale is necessary” to restore order in financial markets there. The yields on British government bonds tumbled on the central bank’s intervention. Last week, the British government’s new plan to bolster economic growth via large tax cuts that will result in higher borrowing shocked the financial markets in Britain.
The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent at the beginning of trading on Wednesday, after six consecutive days of losses, the longest streak since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in February 2020.
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 fell 0.5 percent, continuing Tuesday’s losses. Britain’s FTSE Index dropped 0.4 percent and the pound fell 1 percent against the dollar, to around $1.06. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 closed with a loss of 1.5 percent and the Hang Seng fell 3.4 percent.
The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.3 percent to around $79.50 a barrel, building on yesterday’s gains.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, fell 5 percent, to just over $19,000.