Global stocks mixed on concerns over rate hikes and inflation

BANGKOK — Global equities were mixed on Tuesday, with European benchmarks losing ground after most Asian stocks rose.

London, Paris, Frankfurt and Hong Kong fell while Tokyo and Sydney rose. US futures were higher and oil prices retreated.

Rising energy and food prices are adding to concerns about how the Federal Reserve and other central banks will rein in inflation without hampering a recovery in business activity from the slump caused by efforts to defeat the coronavirus outbreaks.

The conflict in Ukraine, which added to these price pressures, showed no sign of abating as Russia launched a dreaded massive ground offensive, seeking to take control of eastern Ukraine.

“One of the biggest problems is that it’s increasingly rare to find a dissenting voice in the global process towards recession. Negativity about the economy is pervasive, and that alone can keep breeders from securities on the sidelines,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a statement. remark.

As markets reopened after the Easter holidays, the German DAX slipped 0.5% to 14,093.29 while the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.6% to 6,552.24. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3% to 7,596.49.

On Wall Street, futures on the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%. The S&P 500 slid less than 0.1% on Monday while the Dow Jones lost 0.1% and the Nasdaq also fell 0.1%.

In Asian trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led the declines, falling 2.3% to 21,027.76. Concerns over Chinese property developers and regulatory crackdowns on tech companies weighed on sentiment.

The People’s Bank of China conducted a 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) reverse repo operation to help add liquidity to the banking system, the official Xinhua news agency reported. In a reverse repo, the central bank buys securities from commercial banks with an agreement to resell them in the future.

Meanwhile, the central bank, through a banking industry association, has encouraged smaller lenders to cut the interest they offer on deposits to ease pressure on their finances, financial magazine Caixin reported. .

On Friday, the PBOC reduced the amount of reserves banks must keep, to free up more money for lending.

China announced on Monday that its economy grew at a quarterly pace of 1.3% in January-March, compared with 1.4% in the previous quarter. It grew at an annual rate of 4.8%, which was better than expected, but economists noted that the impact of shutdowns in dozens of cities, including Shanghai, to control coronavirus outbreaks was yet to come. .

The Shanghai Composite lost less than 0.1% to 3,194.03.

But most other regional markets grew. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to 26,985.09 and Seoul’s Kospi added 1% to 2,718.89. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6% to 7,565.20. India’s Sensex climbed 0.4% and Bangkok’s SET jumped 0.6%.

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki on Tuesday reiterated his concern over the dollar’s recent sharp rise against the yen – a consequence of a divergence in monetary policies from the Bank of Japan, which keeps interest rates low. to accompany the faltering economy, and the Federal Reserve and other central banks raising rates to combat soaring inflation.

The dollar briefly traded at 128.42 yen, down from 126.99 on Monday night. It hovered at 20-year highs for weeks.

A weaker yen makes Japanese exports more competitive overseas and improves profits for yen-denominated companies when converting to dollars, but it also raises the costs of importing oil and gas, foodstuffs, fuels, etc. manufacturing inputs and other necessities for the world’s third largest economy. .

In other conversations:

The benchmark U.S. oil price fell $1.19 to $107.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.2% to settle at $108.21 a barrel on Monday.

Brent crude, the international price standard, fell $1.04 to $112.12 a barrel.

The euro fell from $1.0781 to $1.0802.

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