Stock market rebound falters, UK inflation hits 40-year high

LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) – A rebound in equities petered out on Wednesday as concerns over the outlook for economic growth and rising inflation rattled sentiment, while a British inflation reading of 9 % highlighted just how much interest rates could rise.

Asian stocks managed to post their fourth consecutive session of gains, but in Europe stocks were mixed and futures on Wall Street pointed to a weaker open , .

Many analysts have characterized this week’s strong rally as a short-term rebound of the common sort during a longer downtrend for equities. Few are prepared to predict an end to selling after a lethal first five months of the year for risky assets given so much macro uncertainty.

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“Investor sentiment and confidence remain fragile and as a result we are likely to see volatile and choppy markets until we get more clarity on the 3Rs – rates, recession and risk,” said Mark Haefele, managing director. investments at UBS Global. Wealth management.

At 08:10 GMT, the broad Euro STOXX 600 (.STOXX) was down 0.1%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE) was also 0.1% lower.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rose 0.6% and is enjoying its longest winning streak since February. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) rose 0.94% and miners led Australian stocks (.AXJO) about 1% higher.

The MSCI Global Equity Index (.MIWD00000PUS) edged up 0.1% and is nearly 2% higher so far this week, but remains down 16% from its January peak.

MSCI Global Equity Index

In the currency markets, the pound was the big loser, losing 0.9% to $1.2387 after UK consumer price inflation hit 9% in April, a 40-year high. years and roughly in line with analysts’ expectations. The pound had risen sharply this week and part of Wednesday’s fall was due to profit taking.

UK inflation is now the highest among major economies, but prices are rising rapidly around the world, forcing central banks to launch a series of rate hikes even in the face of slowing economic growth.

Canada’s April inflation reading is also due later Wednesday.

The US dollar rose 0.3% to 103.61, heading back towards its two-decade high hit last week, while the euro fell a similar amount to $1.0515.


Positive data helped the near-term mood, with US retail sales meeting expectations of a solid increase in April and industrial production beating expectations. Read more

Data on Wednesday showed Japan’s economy contracted less than expected in the first quarter. Read more

Shanghai is also nearing the end of its prolonged lockdown and China’s vice premier has made soothing comments to tech executives in the latest sign of less pressure. Read more

However, any good news was offset by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s reminder that controlling inflation would require rate hikes and possibly pain. Read more

Investors have been anticipating 50 basis point hikes in US rates in June and July and see the benchmark federal funds rate falling 3% early next year.

US Treasury yields were flat on Wednesday and below recent multi-year highs, but the yield on German 2-year government bonds rose to its highest level since December 2011 after more hawkish comments from central banks. Klaas Knot of the European Central Bank said on Tuesday that a 50 basis point rate hike in July was possible if inflation rose.

Commodities rebounded along with equities this week as markets found reason to sustain their growth hopes, although most prices are below recent highs.

On Wednesday, Brent crude futures gained 1.3% to $113.38 a barrel and US crude futures rose 1.64% to $114.24 a barrel.

S&P Global Ratings has lowered its growth forecasts for China, the United States and the euro zone, pointing to a weakening outlook for major world economies.

“The global economy continues to face an unusually large number of negative shocks,” said chief economist Paul F. Gruenwald.

“Two developments have changed the macroeconomic picture,” he said, pointing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and inflation, which turned out to be higher, wider and more persistent than expected. originally thought so.

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Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Kim Coghill

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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