(Updates with closing U.S. markets activity)
* S&P 500 closes book on steepest first-half slide since
* Treasury yields slip for third straight day
* Oil falls on uncertainty over future OPEC+ output
NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) - The MSCI global stock index
notched its biggest first-half of a year percentage drop on
record on Thursday, while the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 had its
steepest percentage drop for the first six months since 1970.
Behind the slides have been concerns over the Ukraine-Russia
war, soaring inflation, higher interest rates and, more
recently, a possible U.S. recession.
Yields on the benchmark Treasury note are up
about 150 basis points year-to-date, the largest first-half
increase since the first six months of 1994.
Adding to jitters Thursday, a Commerce Department report
showed U.S. consumer spending rose less than expected in May.
While the report suggested inflation had probably peaked, price
pressures were still strong enough to leave the U.S. Federal
Reserve on its aggressive policy-tightening path.
"Inflation is not something that we don't have to worry
about anymore. It is expected to be with us for quite some
time," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA in
Central bank chiefs from the Fed, the European Central Bank
and the Bank of England met in Portugal this week and voiced
their renewed commitment to control inflation no matter what
pain it caused.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 253.88 points,
or 0.82%, to 30,775.43, the S&P 500 lost 33.45 points, or
0.88%, to 3,785.38 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped
149.16 points, or 1.33%, to 11,028.74.
Since the start of the year, the S&P 500 has lost 20.6%.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.5% and
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed
The MSCI global stock index was down 20.9% for the first
half of 2022.
The Fed's hawkishness and an investor desire for liquidity
in difficult times have helped support the U.S. dollar.
The U.S. dollar index gained 6.5% for the quarter in its
biggest quarterly jump since the last quarter of 2016. The index
is up 9.4% for the year to date.
On Thursday, the dollar index fell 0.343%, with the
euro down 0.01% to $1.0481.
Bitcoin last fell 5.92% to $18,904.06.
Treasury yields slid for a third straight day on Thursday as
investors continued to worry about a possible U.S. recession.
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell 10.4 basis points to
2.989% as safe-haven buying at the long end pushed prices up and
Oil prices fell about 3% on the day. OPEC+ confirmed it
would only increase output in August as much as previously
announced, but left investors wondering about future output.
Brent crude futures for September delivery fell
$3.42, or 3%, to settle at $109.03 per barrel. The August
contract, which expires on Thursday, fell $1.45, or
1.3%, to settle at $114.81 a barrel. U.S. crude futures
fell $4.02, or 3.7%, to settle at $105.76.
Spot gold dropped 0.5% to $1,807.21 an ounce.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York
Additional reporting by Thomas Wilkes in London and Wayne Cole
in Sydney and Amruta Khandekar
Editing by Gareth Jones, Matthew Lewis and Deepa Babington)