European stocks reversed their early gains Tuesday as rising government bond yields eroded investor sentiment amid speculation that global central banks remain committed to unwinding easy monetary policies.
The region-wide Stoxx Europe 600 index, the broadest measure of share prices, was marked 0.1% lower by 09:00 London time while all of the region's major indices -- outside of Germany -- slipped into the red amid rising bond yields. The DAX performance index held onto gains in the opening hour thanks in part to a solid 2.5% advance for Linde AG (LNEGY) , the chemicals group, and solid increases for benchmark heavyweight automakers such as Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) , BMW AG (BMWYY) and Daimler AG (DDAIY) .
However, a return of the bond market bears clipped early gains around the region as benchmark 10-year German government yields, known as bunds, rose 2 basis points to a near 18-month high of 0.56%. Similarly-date U.S. Treasury bond yields, which move in the opposite direction of prices, were also on move, rising 2 basis points to 2.39%. The moves helped -- or were led by -- gains for the U.S. dollar, which rose 0.2% against a basket of six global currencies to trade at 96.16.
The moves have pressured Wall Street futures, which are now indicating a modest declines for both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, with a small gain anticipated for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Stocks in Asia were little changed on the session, with the region-wide MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rising 0.1% while Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.57% higher at 20,195.48 points as tech stocks led gainers following an impressive performance on Wall Street Monday.
The bond market moves, however, have been far less disruptive this week than they were last, when benchmark 10-year government bond rates in Germany, Britain and the United States surged in unison, igniting parallels to the so-called 'Taper Tantrum' of 2013, when a 140 basis point rise in 10-year U.S. Treasuries pushed the S&P 500 into a 5% loss.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress later this week could settle equity market nerves in that respect, particularly if she is able to assure markets that the Fed's rate path hasn't changed over the past few weeks despite firming economic data and an improving labor market.
Global oil prices were also under pressure in European trading, after modest gains in Asia trading where investors took advantage of a near 3% sell off over the last three trading days to build long positions ahead of data later this week from the Energy Information Administration that could indicate an increase in U.S. gasoline demand.
West Texas Intermediate crude future for August delivery were marked 0.2% a barrel lower at $44.20 by 09:15 London time while Brent contracts for September, the global benchmark, were seen little-changed at $47.03 each.
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