BEIJING (AP) – European stock markets opened higher while Asia fell ahead of the release of US inflation data on Wednesday, with traders worrying that upward pressure on prices is still ahead of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Too strong to reduce.
London, Frankfurt and Wall Street futures rose. Shanghai and Tokyo withdrew. Oil prices fell.
US inflation in July is expected to fall from last month’s four-decade high of 9.1%, Wednesday’s data showed. But a FactSet survey found that traders expect core inflation, which stripped away unsustainable food and energy, leaving rent and other costs, to a higher level. This is in spite of other data showing a cooling off economic activity.
Anything above 8% is “still too high” for the Fed, Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank said in a report.
“The fight to tackle inflation is not over yet,” Tan said.
In early trade, the FTSE 100 in London gained less than 0.1% to 7,489.23, and the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.3% to 13,575.20. The CAC 40 in Paris rose less than 0.1% to 6,495.28.
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.3%.
On Tuesday, the S&P fell 0.4% while traders waited for more evidence of how aggressively the Fed may be raising rates more aggressively. The Dow shed 0.2% and the Nasdaq 1.2%.
The Fed has raised rates four times this year, including twice by 0.75 percentage points, tripling its normal margin. Investors expect another 0.75 percentage point increase in September, as data from last week showed hiring was stronger than forecast.
Investors worry that efforts by the Fed and other central banks in Europe and Asia to quell inflation, which is at a multi-decade high, could derail global economic growth.
Fed officials acknowledge that the US economy is at risk of a recession, but some point to a stronger job market as evidence it can tolerate more rate hikes.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5% to 3,230.02 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.7% to 27,819.33. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2% to end at 19,610.84.
In Seoul, the Kospi fell 0.9% to 2,480.88 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.5% to 6,992.70.
India’s Sensex closed less than 0.1% lower at 58,826.80. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets retreated.
Markets were also battered by Russia’s war against Ukraine, which pushed up prices for oil, wheat and other commodities, and led to uncertainty about Chinese anti-virus measures that disrupted manufacturing and trade.
In energy markets, benchmark US crude fell 61 cents to $89.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 26 cents to $90.50 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the price base for international trade, fell 59 cents to $95.72 a barrel in London. It fell 34 cents to $96.31 in the previous session.
The dollar fell from Tuesday’s 135.18 yen to 134.95 yen. The euro rose from $1.0205 to $1.0222.
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