Markets mixed as traders await US rate decision

AFP , Wednesday 27 Jul 2022

Stock markets traded mixed and the dollar retreated Wednesday as attention switched to the Federal Reserve and the size of its upcoming interest rate hike.

Federal Reserve Interest rate hike
In this file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, as he presents the Monetary Policy Report to the committee on Capitol Hill, on June 22, 2022, in Washington. With inflation raging at a four-decade high, the Fed is under pressure to raise interest rates aggressively. AP


Following Tuesday's steep drop on Wall Street, Asia and Europe diverged as traders pored over more company earnings that pointed to fallout caused by decades-high inflation.

Central banks are seeking to combat runaway prices by hiking interest rates.

Fed officials are widely tipped to announce a 0.75-percentage-point raise later Wednesday.

"This increase in the interest rate is already very much priced in," noted Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade.

He added that should the Fed indicate a plan to raise rates by another 75 basis points at its next meeting, "that would be highly bullish for the dollar".

Focus was also on gas prices as Russian energy giant Gazprom slashed deliveries of the fuel to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline.

EU states have accused Russia of squeezing supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions over Moscow's war in Ukraine.

The price of natural gas reference, Dutch TTF, surged nine percent to 218.13 euros per megawatt hour, building on similar gains Tuesday.

On the corporate front, Switzerland's scandal-hit banking giant Credit Suisse appointed a new chief executive as higher litigation costs and financial market volatility pushed it deeper into the red.

Ulrich Koerner, head of asset management at the bank, takes the reins from Thomas Gottstein on Monday.

The bank has been hit by a series of scandals and crises including the implosions of financial services firms Greensill and Archegos last year.

After starting the day lower on the Swiss stock exchange, Credit Suisse shares rallied more than one percent.

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