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GLOBAL MARKETS-Rate-hike bets buoy dollar as markets digest U.S. tax plan
September 27, 2017 / 3:40 PM / in 24 days

GLOBAL MARKETS-Rate-hike bets buoy dollar as markets digest U.S. tax plan

* U.S. Republican tax framework sets 20 pct corporate rate

* Dollar rises on U.S. fiscal hopes, hawkish Yellen

* Tech, financials lead on Wall Street, Europe shares rise

* U.S. 2-year yield hits highest since 2008 after data (Updates with U.S. markets; changes byline, dateline, previous London)

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The dollar climbed to a one-month high on Wednesday as bets firmed for an U.S. interest rate hike in December, while world stocks edged up as Republicans rolled out their U.S. tax reform plan.

U.S. Treasury yields rose to months- and years-long highs, fueled by a stronger-than-expected reading on durable goods orders that suggested inflation may be picking up.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress and the White House called for slashing tax rates on businesses and the wealthy, as part of a new tax plan that offers few details about how to pay for tax cuts without expanding the federal deficit.

“Unveiling the plan is one thing, and getting it passed is another,” said Victor Jones, director of trading at TD Ameritrade.

Bets on a near-term interest rate increase firmed following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said on Tuesday that the U.S. central bank needs to continue gradual rate hikes despite broad uncertainty about the path of inflation.

Perceived chances of a hike at the Fed’s December meeting rose to 83 percent from 72 percent on Monday, according to the CME Group.

The hawkish rate sentiment helped fuel gains in U.S. financial shares, which gained 1 percent. The S&P 500 tech sector rose 0.7 percent, helped by a 7.6 percent surge in shares of Micron Technology after the chipmaker’s quarterly report.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.08 points, or 0.07 percent, to 22,299.4, the S&P 500 gained 3.12 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,499.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 37.69 points, or 0.59 percent, to 6,417.85.

“The renewed interest in technology coupled with the likelihood of higher interest rates spurring an interest in financials, then the news on tax reform progressing, are all positive catalysts,” said Alan Lancz, president of investment advisory firm Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc. in Toledo, Ohio.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.42 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.03 percent.

European banks rose 2 percent and hit their highest in seven weeks.

The dollar index rose 0.4 percent, with the euro down 0.41 percent to $1.1743.

“It really is an extension of the rally kicked off by the Fed last week,” said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist, at TD Securities in New York, referring to its meeting where the Fed signaled it may raise rates for a third time this year.

Data showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods increased more than expected in August, pointing to strength in the economy despite an anticipated drag to growth from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 19/32 in price to yield 2.2961 percent, from 2.229 percent late on Tuesday.

Yields on the 2-year note, the most sensitive to expectations of rate increases by the Fed, rose to 1.483 percent, the highest since November 2008.

U.S. crude rose 0.4 percent to $52.10 per barrel while Brent was last at $57.93, down 0.9 percent on the day.

Spot gold dropped 0.5 percent to $1,286.83 an ounce.

Additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Dion Rabouin in New York, Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru and Nigel Stephenson in London; Editing by Hugh Lawson and James Dalgleish

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