US stocks rose after two days of declines, with the S&P energy index rising the most among the 11 major S&P sectors. Suspected attacks on two tankers off the coast of Iran have seen oil markets erupt out of their recent slump and kept traders gobbling up ultra-safe government bonds, gold and the Japanese yen. Brent surged as much 4 per cent on Thursday after reports of the attacks added to the already-heightened tensions between Iran and the United States. The area is near the Strait of Hormuz through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers.

Brent crude futures settled up $US1.34, or 2.23 per cent, at $US61.31, having risen as much as 4.5 per cent to $US62.64. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up $US1.14, or 2.23 per cent, at $US52.28 a barrel.

In other parts of the US share market, investors will be looking to what Fed policymakers will say after their next policy meeting on 18-19 June, with Fed Funds rate futures pricing in a 25-basis-point rate cut for the subsequent policy review on 30-31 July. That is completely at odds with the Fed’s projection three months ago, when policy makers saw gradual rate hikes in coming years. The 10-year US Treasuries yield dipped to 2.103 per cent, near Friday’s 2.053 per cent, its lowest level since September 2017.

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