Dollar, yields rise ahead of speech by Fed's Powell

Dollar, yields rise ahead of speech by Fed's Powell

(New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)

* Fed expected to remain hawkish at Jackson Hole

* Treasury yields touch multi-week peaks

* U.S. core capital goods orders rise, but momentum slows

By Herbert Lash and Alun John

NEW YORK/HONG KONG, Aug 24 (Reuters) - The dollar rose and Treasury yields jumped on Wednesday ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in two days that may affirm the U.S. central bank's aggressive policy to tame inflation or signal a "pivot" to subdued interest rate hikes.

U.S. and European shares gained in choppy trade as investors tried to divine whether the U.S. central bank was more likely to slow its rate hikes or stay aggressive until it brings inflation down to its target of 2%.

Yields on both German and U.S. benchmark 10-year notes rose to eight-week highs. British short-dated government bond yields hit 14-year highs. Soaring energy prices in Europe raised fears of more inflation in Germany and the UK.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries US10YT=TWEB rose further above 3%, signaling to some that the bounce-back in stocks will be short-lived. The German 10-year bund hit 1.388%, and two-year UK gilts hit 2.955%.

"When the 10-year climbs above 3%, all of a sudden stocks have a harder time. We saw that in May, we saw that in June, we're seeing it again now," said Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Troy, Michigan.

"That will be a headwind, as long as the 10-year remains above 3%," he said.

Bets that the Fed will raise rates by 50 basis points at its policy meeting in September have whipsawed to 75 basis points.

Traders of fed funds futures last priced in a 60.5% chance that the Fed will raise rates by 75 basis points next month, and a 39.5% probability of a 50 basis points increase. FEDWATCH

"The market is gyrating between this ultra, ultra hawkish view and this ultra, ultra dovish view" of Jackson Hole, Saglimbene said. "It's going to be somewhere in the middle."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.08%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.19% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC advanced 0.42%.

In Europe, the pan-regional STOXX 600 index .STOXX closed up 0.16% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS was essentially flat, up 0.02%.

The euro fell to a two-decade low and was last down 0.02% at $0.9965. The dollar index =USD rose 0.074%.

Portfolio managers were awaiting Powell's commentary, and everything else is merely speculation, said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

"The market is trading around on not much other than sentiment and the fact that we got pretty overbought and kind of due for a pullback," he said. "Now we're bouncing a little bit, positioning into the Fed chair's commentary at Jackson Hole."

Economic data showed new orders for U.S.-made capital goods increased in July, but the pace slowed from the prior month, suggesting business spending on equipment could struggle to rebound after contracting in the second quarter.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 0.4% last month, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. These so-called core capital goods orders surged 0.9% in June.

Oil prices rose in volatile trading on concerns that the United States will not consider additional concessions to Iran in its response to a draft agreement that would restore Tehran's nuclear deal, and potentially the OPEC member's crude exports.

Benchmark Brent crude retreated after rising above $100 a barrel. Saudi Arabia has suggested that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may consider cutting output, though bearish economic signals from central bankers are weighing.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 settled up $1.15 at $94.89 a barrel and Brent LCOc1 rose $1.00 to $101.22.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled unchanged at $1,761.50 an ounce.



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Reporting by Herbert Lash, additional reporting by Alun John
in Hong Kong and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Tomasz
Janowski, Bernadette Baum and David Gregorio