Yields & Dollar Up, Gold Down After PPI Data

Labor Department data showed wholesale price growth increased in 2016.

The producer Price Index showed wholesale price, which measures price changes before they reach consumers, climbed by 1.6 percent in December 2016, in line with economists’ expectations, that’s the highest gain in a year since September 2014. Still, it suggests inflation can be largely in order. Final demand index fell 1.1 percent in 2015.

Whole prices are a preliminary indicator of consumer-price growth as companies typically mark up the prices of goods on their shelves to offset the higher prices paid to distributors.

December’s gain was led by a big surge in wholesale gas prices, which jumped 7.8 percent; food prices jumped 0.7 percent, with chicken eggs, a volatile category, jumping 69.3 percent. Fresh fruits and melons, which spiked last month, declined by the most in more than six years.

Prices at the pump hiked in December, they averaged $2.35 a gallon nationwide Thursday, 14 cents higher than a month ago.

Consumers witnessed higher prices in housing and health care in recent months which boosted core consumer prices by 2.1 percent in the past year, excluding food and energy.

Treasury yields inched up after the data; the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.40% by 9:30 a.m. ET, up from 2.34% just before the 8:30 a.m. release.

Gold futures were flat Friday morning, February gold was down $1 at $1,198 an ounce, it hovered close to $1,210, in the previous session, its highest since November.

The dollar recovered from its early losses against its major rivals. It traded at 1.0643 against the euro, 1.2159 against the pound, 114.64 against the yen and 1.0081 against the Swiss franc around 8:32 ET.

Continuing price gains could spur the Fed to hike interest rates more often this year, they implied that there can be three hikes in 2017.

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