© Reuters. The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt© Reuters. The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The euro rose to a nearly two-week high while the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hit a 1-1/2-week peak on Wednesday after officials said the European Central Bank could wind down its stimulus program by the end of the year.

Robust growth is making the central bank increasingly confident that inflation is on its way back to target, ECB chief economist Peter Praet said on Wednesday, raising the likelihood it may use a meeting next week to reveal more about the end of its bond-buying program.

The comments boosted the euro. The euro was up 0.47 percent to $1.1772. The fell 0.32 percent.

Jitters that the ECB would buy fewer bonds triggered a broad sell-off in German Bunds and other European government debt, which spilled over to the Treasuries sector, analysts said.

The yield on Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond up nearly eight basis points to 0.44 percent, on track for their biggest daily rise in nearly a year.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 15/32 in price to yield 2.9717 percent, from 2.919 percent late on Tuesday.

“Bunds were leading the sell-off,” said John Canavan, market strategist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates in New York. Praet’s comments “pulled forward the ECB move in some people’s mind.”

Wall Street stocks climbed, with Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc gaining after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk reassured shareholders that building 5,000 of its mass-market Model 3 cars per week by the end of June was “quite likely.”

The Nasdaq hit another record intraday high.

The rose 226.61 points, or 0.91 percent, to 25,026.59, the gained 11.66 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,760.46 and the added 17.77 points, or 0.23 percent, to 7,655.64.

The pan-European index lost 0.07 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.53 percent.

Investors said the new Italian government’s big-spending fiscal plans, a major worry for markets over the last few weeks, were unlikely to be helped by the ECB tightening its own policy.

Oil prices fell on signs Saudi Arabia and other big producers may increase production. fell more than 1 percent on a surprise build in domestic crude stockpiles.

U.S. crude fell 1.25 percent to $64.70 per barrel and was last at $74.97, down 0.54 percent.

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