Global Stocks Rise After Fed Comments 02/02 04:49
Global stock markets and Wall Street futures rose Thursday after the Federal
Reserve said the U.S. economy is moving toward lower inflation but more
interest rate hikes are planned.
BEIJING (AP) -- Global stock markets and Wall Street futures rose Thursday
after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy is moving toward lower
inflation but more interest rate hikes are planned.
London and Frankfurt opened higher. Shanghai and Tokyo advanced. Oil prices
Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index rose after the Fed increased its key
lending rate by 0.25 percentage points, smaller than previous hikes. Chair
Jerome Powell said the "disinflationary process has started" but "ongoing
increases" in rates will be needed.
Traders hope central banks that raised rates repeatedly over the past year
will scale back plans for more hikes as inflation eases. Some expect a U.S. cut
before 2024, though Powell said he anticipates none this year.
Markets put a "dovish interpretation" on Powell's comments despite his
warning that it was too early to declare victory, said Venkateswaran Lavanya of
Mizuho Bank in a report.
The gap between market pricing and Fed plans "appears to have widened,"
Lavanya wrote. "This leaves room for a rude shock down the road."
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.6% to 7,808.83. The DAX in
Frankfurt gained 1.4% to 15,396.36 and the CAC 40 in Paris was up 1% at
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 future was up 0.4%. That for the Dow Jones
Industrial Average was off 0.1%.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 gained 1% after Powell's news conference for its
highest close in two months.
"We can now say, I think for the first time, that the disinflationary
process has started," Powell said. He said his "base case" is that the Fed's
inflation target of 2% can be achieved "without a really significant downturn
or really big increase in unemployment."
That appeared to encourage investors who worry central banks might be
willing to push the global economy into recession to cool inflation that is
near multi-decade highs.
The Dow recovered from a loss to gain less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite
On Thursday, the Shanghai Composite Index gained less than 0.1% to 3,285.67
and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.2% to 27,402.05. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong
shed 0.5% to 21,958.36.
The Kospi in Seoul was up 0.8% at 2,466.03 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added
0.1% to 7,511.60.
India's Sensex shed less than 0.1% to 59,664.17. New Zealand and Jakarta
advanced while Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur declined.
Wednesday's announcement raised the Fed's overnight lending rate to a
16-year high of 4.5% to 4.75%, up from close to zero early last year.
Data on Wednesday gave a mixed picture of the U.S. job market, a factor in
Hiring is resilient despite repeated rate hikes. While that helps workers,
it adds to worries that wage gains could add to upward pressure on prices.
Private payrolls rose by 106,000 in January, according to ADP, a payroll
processor. That was a smaller gain than the previous month and below forecasts.
A separate U.S. government report indicated more strength. It said the
number of job openings increased to 11 million in December, better than
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 42 cents to $76.83 cents to
$77.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract fell $2.46 on Wednesday to $76.41. Brent crude, the price basis
for international oil trading, added 39 cents to $83.23 per barrel in London.
It lost $2.62 the previous session to $82.84 a barrel.
The dollar was unchanged at 128.57 yen. The euro rose to $1.1001 from