MILAN/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Optimism about the economic outlook pushed commodity prices to new highs on Tuesday, helping stocks steady as expectations of a dovish testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell calmed down bond yields.
The MSCI world equity benchmark was flat near two week lows by 0919 GMT, helped by gains in commodity-heavy equity indexes in Asia and a rally in European travel stocks on the prospect of easing social restrictions.
World stocks had been weighed down in recent sessions by a rapid surge in global bond yields which fuelled expectations that central banks could eventually turn less accommodative in a bid to tame inflation.
But the sell-off in the bond market eased after European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde said on Monday the central bank was "closely monitoring" rising borrowing costs.
Tech stocks and rate-sensitive sectors like utilities in Europe however fell, offsetting stronger travel and commodity stocks and pushing down the regional benchmark by 0.6%.
Nasdaq futures were down 0.6% at three-week lows after high-growth stocks such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) dragged the index down 2.5% on Monday, while S&P 500 futures inched 0.1% lower.
10-year Treasury yields edged up to 1.374% but remained below the one-year high of 1.394% hit on Monday.
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