GLOBAL MARKETS-Bond yields up, dollar rallies after more upbeat Fed statement

Reuters

* Bond markets sell off after Fed comments

* Short-dated Treasuries hit hardest

* Positive earnings help ease global growth concerns (Changes lead paragraph, recasts throughout, updates prices, adds new quote, adds European market close)

By Yasmeen Abutaleb

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were mixed, while the dollar and government bond yields rose on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve announced the end of its stimulus program in a statement that also noted the improvements in the U.S. labor market.

The Fed, as expected, said it will no longer add to its holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, effectively ending a program that at its peak pumped $85 billion a month into the financial system to hold interest rates down and boost the flagging economy.

 

The Fed also expressed confidence in the U.S. recovery and said it would remain on track despite a slowdown in many parts of the global economy, especially Europe. Specifically, the Fed said “underutilization of labor resources is gradually diminishing.”

That produced a notable selloff in bond markets, with a sharp move in the benchmark two-year U.S. Treasury note, which saw its yield rise to 0.485 percent. Should the move hold, it would be the biggest one-day rise for two-year yields in more than three years. The 10-year Treasury note fell 18/32 in price to yield 2.3479 percent.

“I was pleasantly surprised that they removed the reference to there being significant underutilization of labor resources. I think that is a hat tip to some of the progress being made in the labor market,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Major U.S. indexes added to declines on the announcement but then pared losses.

“The reaction was to sell (stocks) because it is a bit more optimistic than perhaps many traders were expecting it to be,” said Jacobsen. “What ‘considerable time’ (for the next hike) means may have been compressed a little bit.”

The U.S. dollar jumped 0.6 percent against a basket of major currencies after being down earlier, and rose 0.7 percent against the euro to $1.2646.

MSCI’s index of equities in 45 countries fell 0.2 percent, erasing earlier gains. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading companies closed up 0.1 percent ahead of the Fed’s announcement.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24.23 points, or 0.14 percent, to 16,981.52, the S&P 500 lost 6.16 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,978.89 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.53 points, or 0.54 percent, to 4,539.77.

(Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever in London; Editing by James Dalgleish and Nick Zieminski; To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/globalinvesting; for the MacroScope Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click onhttp://blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub)