Futures sink as strong inflation data raises rate hike fears


(Reuters) – U.S. stock futures fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in January, with core inflation posting its biggest gain in a year. That again stoked fears that interest rates will increase faster than expected, raising U.S bond yields and further quelling investors’ interest in the stock market. January’s fall in U.S. retail sales was the biggest monthly drop in almost a year, conversely also feeding into fears that the economy is not strong enough to swallow robust increases in borrowing costs. The CPI data was “Stronger than expected, a little hot. It sort of feeds on investor fears of an economy running a little hot, that interest rates could rise and put pressure on equities,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth in Chicago. “It’s feeding that fear that the labor market started about 10 days ago,” Ablin said, referring to a strong January jobs report on Feb. 2, which was a trigger for last week’s sell-off. By 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 276 points, or 1.12 percent, with 62,164 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 27.75 points, or 1.04 percent, with 298,267 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 74.75 points, or 1.14 percent, on volume of 60,936 contracts. The futures were higher by about 0.5 percent ahead of the inflation data released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The yields on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury bonds US10YT=RR rose to 2.8730 percent after falling to 2.8222 percent earlier. They hit a four-year high of 2.902 on Monday. [US/] The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose above 25 points. They had eased to a week low of 22.81, after shooting above 50 points at the peak of last week’s declines. Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’SouzaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Source: Reuters