• The Star Staff

Stocks, Treasury yields climb after Democrats win control of U.S. Senate

Bond prices dropped and stocks hit record highs on Thursday as investors bet his party’s control of the U.S. Congress would enable President-elect Joe Biden to borrow and spend heavily, while higher yields helped a bruised dollar recover from near three-year lows.

U.S. Treasuries prices extended their steepest selloff in months, with the benchmark yield at its highest in 10 months, after victories in two Georgia races handed the Democratic Party narrow control of the U.S. Senate, bolstering Biden’s power to pass his agenda as his party controls both chambers.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in almost 50 countries, rose over 1% to hit a record high for the third session this week.

A shaken Congress formally certified Biden’s election victory in the early hours of Thursday, after hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters had stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The shocking images of the assault had earlier knocked sentiment, though traders focused on the implications of the Democrats’ control of Congress.

On Wall Street, major indexes hit record highs on bets that more pandemic stimulus under a Democrat-controlled U.S. government will help the economy ride out the downturn.

“You’re seeing a reflation trade on the assumption that a more progressive and aggressive fiscal stimulus packages could be in the offing,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GlobAlt in Atlanta.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 193.4 points, or 0.63%, to 31,022.8, the S&P 500 gained 50.26 points, or 1.34%, to 3,798.4 and the Nasdaq Composite added 291.10 points, or 2.28%, to 13,031.89.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.51% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.03%. Emerging market stocks rose 0.22%.

Earlier, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had risen 0.35% and Japan’s Nikkei hit its intraday highest since 1990 before ending up 1.6%.

The prospect for future stimulus spending sent bond prices lower, with the yield on the benchmark hitting its highest since March. It rose as high as 1.088% on Thursday.

“The Georgia Senate elections just added a tailwind to existing trends of reflation and upward pressure on Treasury yields,” said Bill Merz, head of fixed income research at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 11/32 in price to yield 1.0778%, from 1.042% late on Wednesday.

The 30-year bond last fell 23/32 in price to yield 1.8527%, from 1.821%.

Meanwhile Germany’s 10-year Bund yield dipped slightly to -0.55%.

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