US Bond Funds See First Weekly Outflow in Over Four Months: Lipper

U.S. bond funds posted a net outflow in the week to Nov. 24 as investors raised bets that the Federal Reserve would become more aggressive in normalizing monetary policy to fight inflation after President Joe Biden nominated Jerome Powell as chairperson for a second term. According to Refinitiv Lipper data, investors sold U.S. bond funds worth a net $158 million, the first outflow since the week to July 14. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, rose to 0.687 percent on Tuesday, its highest level since early March 2020. However, Treasury yields dipped on Friday as concerns about a new COVID-19 variant drove demand for safe-haven assets. U.S. taxable bond funds faced net selling of $1.08 billion compared with inflows of $3.97 billion in the previous week. Municipal bond funds attracted $598 million in net buying, the smallest in four weeks. U.S. short/intermediate …

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WTO Postpones Major Meeting After New Variant Outbreak

GENEVA—The World Trade Organization (WTO) became the first major diplomatic casualty of the new coronavirus variant on Friday when it postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years due to the deteriorating health situation. Ministers from WTO members were due to have gathered next week for a meeting widely seen as a test of the WTO’s relevance. The WTO said that its members had agreed late on Friday to postpone the ministerial conference after the new variant outbreak led to travel restrictions that would have prevented many ministers from reaching Geneva. No new date has been set for a rescheduled meeting. The World Health Organisation has classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa as a “variant of concern,” saying it may spread more quickly than other forms of the virus. Scientists are also seeking to find out if it is vaccine-resistant. Switzerland, home to the WTO, on Friday banned …

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