Long-term interest rates jumped past 7% on Tuesday as the bond market fretted over new signs of inflation.
A sharp rise in the prices of gold and other commodities provided the latest jolt. Commodity Exchange gold futures rose $8, to $376 an ounce.
The Commodity Research Bureau Index, measuring 21 futures prices, rose 1.69 point, or 0.81 percentage point, to 210.60.
Demand for gold and other precious metals picks up when investors fear inflation will eat into the value of bond holdings. Last week's government reports showing surprisingly strong increases in consumer and producer prices have sparked an inflation scare in the financial markets.
In late New York trading, the price of the government's 30-year bond was down 3/4. This raised the yield, a benchmark for bank loan rates, to 7.02% from 6.96%. The yield has soared almost a quarter percentage point in the last week.
Kevin Flanagan, money market economist at Dean Witter, Discover & Co., said the market is also worried that the Federal Reserve soon will tighten credit for the first time in four years. The policymaking Federal Open Market Committee met on Tuesday.
Mr. Flanagan predicted that long-term rates will continue to rise at least until June 4, when the May employment report is released.
Ten-year notes lost 5/8, to yield 6.13%; five-year notes fell 1/4, to yield 5.29%; and two-year notes fell 1/16. to yield 4.06%. The bond-equivalent yield on the three-month Treasury bill rose 1 basis point to 3.08%.
The bond market's weakness hurt stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 5.54 points to 3,444.39.
The dollar, benefiting from news that Denmark apparently would approve of the European monetary union, rose to 1.6240 German marks from 1.6125 and to 111.45 yen from 111.30.