German yields near highs as coalition talks add to European Central Bank jitters

German yields near highs as coalition talks add to European Central Bank jitters

The US central bank's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy, has undershot its target since May 2012.

The euro was up 1.21 percent to $1.2177, on pace for its biggest single-day percentage gain against the greenback in more than six months.

The ECB has pledged to continue its bond purchase programme at least until September and investors expect any rate increase to take place next year.

In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent to 13,196 while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 7,777.

Safe-haven assets such as gold and the yen firmed up ahead of earnings from the big U.S. banks and consumer inflation data due later in the day, while oil prices eased a little bit after hitting their highest levels since December 2014 in the previous session.

Optimism about fourth-quarter earnings boosted stocks.

EUR/USD is jumping with a high of 1.1993 so far.

Now, the minutes tell us that they may change this guidance soon. On Thursday, the benchmark fell 0.3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-head-for-2nd-day-of-losses-with-retail-shares-in-the-red-2018-01-11), a second straight loss.

It dropped again as the session wore on but was still close to five-month highs at 0.52 percent.

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MARKET CALM: Global equity markets settled after some turmoil earlier in the week sparked by a news report that China might slow or halt purchases of U.S. Treasurys, which Beijing later challenged.

If the talks broke down, the uncertainty around the need for a new election would weigh on the euro and the kiwi while the greenback would benefit.

The 10-year Treasury yield stood at 2.5498 per cent, settling down from Wednesday's 10-month high of 2.597 per cent when fears of a bond bear market gripped investors.

On Thursday, the euro gained ground against the dollar as the latest European Central Bank minutes suggested that rate-setters in Frankfurt might harden their guidance for their policy settings.

Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,322.74 an ounce by 1:37 p.m. EST (1837 GMT) after touching $1,326.56 on Wednesday, the highest since September 15.

Amundi's Defend said the gradual removal of liquidity from central banks would drive volatility higher across asset classes this year.

US gold futures for February delivery settled up $3.20, or 0.2 percent, at $1,322.50 per ounce. "That helps explain the demand picture which has oil up at $70", said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, in NY.

Brent crude futures settled 6 cents higher at United States dollars 69.26 a barrel on Thursday, after hitting USD 70.05 a barrel during the session, its highest level since November 2014.

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