Global stocks up as traders digest Fed anti-inflation pledge

AP , Tuesday 30 Aug 2022

Global stocks and Wall Street futures rebounded Tuesday as investors digested last week's Federal Reserve pledge to fight inflation by keeping interest rates elevated.

South Korea
Currency traders walk by the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at a foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. AP


London, Frankfurt and Tokyo advanced, while Shanghai declined. The euro edged up to just over $1.

Wall Street futures were higher after the benchmark S&P 500 index fell 0.7% on Monday, adding to last week's losses.

Stocks tumbled after Fed chair Jerome Powell indicated Friday the U.S. central bank will stick to a strategy of rate hikes to cool inflation that is at multi-decade highs. That appeared to quiet speculation the Fed might ease off due to signs economic activity is cooling.

Lower stock markets and weakness in consumer spending ``are not enough to blow the Fed off its tightening course,'' said Chris Turner of ING in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London opened up 0.6% at 7,472.03 and Frankfurt's DAX added 1.4% to 13.079.12. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.1% to 6,288.59.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 future was up 1%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8%.

On Monday, the Dow dropped 0.6% and the Nasdaq composite tumbled 1%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 3,227.22 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.4% to 19,949.03.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 1.2% to 28,217.36 after the official unemployment rate for July held steady and the labor participation rate, or the share of the working-age population that is in jobs, stayed at a record high.

The Kospi in Seoul added 1% to 2,450.93 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5% to 6,998.30.

India's Sensex advanced 2% to 59,139.81. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also advanced.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500's 3.4% drop on Friday was its biggest one-day loss in two months.

Selling on Monday was widespread. Tech and health care stocks were the biggest decliners. Energy and utilities stocks rose.

Investors worry rate hikes by the Fed and by central banks in Europe and Asia might derail global economic growth.

Fed officials point to a strong U.S. job market as evidence the biggest global economy can tolerate higher borrowing costs. Some acknowledge a recession is possible but say that might be necessary to extinguish surging inflation.

The Fed has raised interest rates four times this year. The latest two were by 0.75 percentage points, three times its usual margin.

Some investors had hoped that the Fed would ease up if inflation subsides. That sentiment led to a rally for stocks in July and early August.

Investors expect another large hike at the Fed's September meeting, though the likelihood of such a big increase is smaller following weaker-than-forecast July retail sales.

The Fed's preferred gauge of inflation decelerated last month, while other data shows consumer spending slowed. Wall Street will get several more updates on the economy this week.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 11 cents to $96.90 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract soared $3.95 on Monday to $97.01. Brent crude, the price basis for international trading, shed 25 cents to $102.68 per barrel in London. It jumped $4.10 the previous session to $105.09.

The dollar declined to 138.31 yen from Monday's 138.83 yen. The euro rose to $1.0030 from 99.92 cents.

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