Global stocks rise amid interest rate uncertainty


BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets were mostly up yesterday as investors watched for signs that central banks would try to calm inflation by accelerating the withdrawal of economic stimulus measures that are driving up stock prices.

London and Frankfurt opened higher. Shanghai and Tokyo have advanced. Hong Kong refused.
Wall Street futures were higher after the benchmark S&P 500 index fell on Monday due to losses at technology and communications companies.

Markets have been worried since Federal Reserve officials said in mid-December that plans to withdraw historically low interest rates and other stimulus would be accelerated to cool inflation, which is at its peak. high for several decades.

Investors expect the European Central Bank (ECB) to adopt a more hawkish policy for the euro at its March meeting after its board said last week that inflation risks were rising.

ECB President Christine Lagarde on Monday tried to tone down talk of rate hikes, saying any changes “will be very gradual.”

The prospect of tighter monetary policy “triggered asset markets to weaken,” Mizuho Bank’s Tan Boon Heng said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.7% to 7,624.31 and the Frankfurt DAX added 0.6% to 15,281.34. The CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.7% at 7,057.77.

On Wall Street, futures on the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%.

A man walks past a bank’s electronic board displaying the Hong Kong stock index. PHOTO: AP

The S&P 500 fell 0.4% on Monday. The benchmark is 6.5% below its January 3 peak.

The Dow Jones was little changed while the Nasdaq composite fell 0.6%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7% to 3,452.63 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1% to 24,329.49.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.1% to 27,284.52 after the government announced labor cash income fell 0.2% from a year earlier in December. Basic household spending fell 1% from the previous month.

Seoul’s Kospi gained less than 0.1% to 2,746.47 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 1.1% to 7,186.70.

India’s Sensex fell 0.2% to 57,518.66. New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok increased while Jakarta decreased.

Traders are trying to figure out how stocks will be affected as the Fed rolls out plans to accelerate the withdrawal of stimulus. Investors expect at least four rate hikes this year, starting next month.

The ECB is expected to take longer to end bond purchases intended to drive down market interest rates by pumping money into the financial system.

Investors are awaiting data on consumer inflation in the United States (US), which could influence the Fed’s planning. Also this week, the central banks of India, Thailand and Indonesia are holding policy meetings.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude fell 51 cents to $90.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract 99 cents at 91.32 USD on Monday. Brent crude, the price base for international oils, fell 61 cents to $92.08 a barrel in London.

It was down 58 cents the previous session at $92.69.

The dollar gained 115.34 JPY against 115.08 JPY on Monday.

Stephen V. Lee