* Data heightens expectations for Fed rate hike in March
* Financials lift Wall St to another record
* Dollar dips after touching one-month high
(Updates with U.S. market open; changes byline, dateline;
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 15 Stocks on major world markets
rose further on Wednesday and U.S. Treasury yields rose after a
batch of U.S. economic data increased the possibility of an
interest rate rise by the Federal Reserve.
U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in January, while
other data showed consumer prices recorded their biggest
increase in nearly four years last month and manufacturing
output steadily rising.
The reports come on the back of comments from U.S. Fed Chair
Janet Yellen on Tuesday that the central bank would probably
need to raise rates at one of the upcoming meetings.
The economic data and Yellen's comments heightened
expectations of a March interest rate hike, with U.S. short-term
interest rates futures implying a 27 percent chance of a 25
basis point rise at its March meeting.
"It makes it more interesting, March, for sure," said Brian
Rehling, co-head of global fixed income strategy for Wells Fargo
Investment Institute in St. Louis.
"There is a chance more so than when she started speaking,
but just to the extent that she kept it in play rather than
saying it is coming in March."
The prospect of higher rates pushed U.S. financial stocks
0.5 percent higher on Wall Street for their fifth
straight day and lifted the benchmark S&P 500 index
slightly higher to another record.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80.19 points,
or 0.39 percent, to 20,584.6, the S&P 500 gained 4.38
points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,341.96 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 15.89 points, or 0.27 percent, to 5,798.46.
MSCI's benchmark global equity index rose 0.48 percent to
442.26 points, less than a point off its
intraday record of 443.75.
Europe's index of leading 300 stocks rose nearly 1
percent earlier to its highest since December 2015, buoyed by
bank earnings, but had given up some gains to trade up 0.5
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose to a two-and-a-half week
high of 2.524 percent after the data and were last down 9/32 in
price to yield 2.5022 percent.
The U.S. dollar reversed course after touching a
one-month high in the wake of the U.S. data and was last down
0.08 percent against a basket of major currencies. The greenback
has advanced for eleven straight session before weakening on
Yellen testifies to the U.S. Congress again on Wednesday,
this time to the House of Representatives.
U.S. crude was down 0.4 percent at $52.99 and Brent
shed 0.4 percent to $55.73 a barrel <LCOc1 after a bearish
increase in U.S. crude inventories to record highs.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Clive McKeef)