Wall Street eyes higher open, sterling rises as bears lick wounds

US stock index futures were indicating a higher Wall Street open and sterling bounced from this week's record lows against the dollar on Tuesday as investors took stock after recent sharp market moves.

Wall Street eyes higher open, sterling rises as bears lick wounds
Pound and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were indicating a higher Wall Street open and sterling bounced from this week's record lows against the dollar on Tuesday as investors took stock after recent sharp market moves.

S&P futures rose 1.25% after Wall Street fell deeper into a bear market in the previous session, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields dipped from Monday's 12-year high and the dollar eased from 20-year highs on a basket of currencies.

Markets are wary about the pace of U.S. rate rises to calm inflation, a concern that has hurt risky assets and boosted the U.S. currency.

"U.S. rate expectations have increased fairly significantly," said Andrew Hardy, investment manager at Momentum Global Investment Management, but he added that "there's a huge amount of bearishness already priced into markets".

Markets are seeing a 72% probability of a further 75 basis point move at the next Federal Reserve meeting in November.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will need to raise interest rates by at least another percentage point this year, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on Tuesday, a more aggressive stance than he has previously embraced that underscores the central bank's hardening resolve to quash too-high inflation.

Other central bank speakers due on Tuesday include Fed chair Jerome Powell and ECB president Christine Lagarde.

Sterling collapsed to a record low of $1.0327 on Monday on concern over the funding of recently-announced UK tax cuts, which come on top of huge energy subsidies.

But the pound recovered 4.6% from that low to $1.0806, after the Bank of England said late on Monday it would not hesitate to change interest rates and was monitoring markets "very closely".

Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill will speak on a panel at 1300 GMT.

The pound has suffered "a build-up in negative sentiment which we believe has room to unwind", said Chris Teschmacher, multi-asset fund manager at Legal & General Investment Management, adding that the asset manager was taking a "moderate positive view" on sterling versus the euro.

LGIM would likely add to its position on any further falls in the pound, as this "would only make support from the government or Bank of England more likely", Teschmacher added.

The yield on five-year gilts rose as much as 100 basis points in two trading days but fell 29 bps on Tuesday.

Spillover from Britain kept other assets on edge.

Bond selling in Japan pushed yields up to the Bank of Japan's ceiling and prompted more unscheduled buying from the central bank in response.

The German 10-year bond yield briefly hit a new nearly 11-year high of 2.142% before easing.

Ten-year U.S. bond yields dropped 7 bps from the U.S. close after reaching a high on Monday of 3.933%.

The MSCI world equity index rose 0.15% after hitting its lowest since Nov 2020 on Monday. European stocks gained 0.8% and Britain's FTSE was steady.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia shares outside Japan hit a fresh two-year low before gaining 0.35%. Japan's Nikkei was up 0.5%.

The dollar index fell 0.27% to 113.56, after touching 114.58 on Monday, its strongest since May 2002.

The euro was up 0.36% at $0.9641 after hitting a 20-year low a day ago.

Oil rallied after plunging to nine-month lows in the previous session, helped by supply curbs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Ian and by a slight softening in the U.S. dollar.

U.S. crude gained 1.5% to $77.84 a barrel. Brent crude rose 1.55% to $85.34 per barrel.

Dutch and British gas prices, rose on news that the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Europe had suffered damage, raising concerns over the security of the bloc’s energy infrastructure and making a swift resumption in flows through the pipeline even less likely.

Gold, which hit a 2-1/2 year low on Monday, rose 1.2% to $1,640 an ounce.

Bitcoin broke above $20,000 for the first time in about a week, as cryptocurrencies bounced, along with other risk-sensitive assets.

Additional reporting by Xie Yu in Hong Kong; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Raissa Kasolowsky, and Chizu Nomiyama