© Reuters. A currency dealer works at a dealing room of a bank in Seoul, South Korea, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
By Danilo Masoni and Alun John
MILAN/HONG KONG (Reuters) – European shares extended their bounce on Wednesday and bond yields held below recent peaks ahead of inflation data in the United States that will offer a guide to how aggressively the Federal Reserve will raise rates.
Asian equities squeezed higher from near two-year lows and Wall Street futures also gained before the release of the keenly awaited datapoint which analysts say could show inflationary pressures in the world’s biggest economy are peaking.
MSCI’s benchmark for global stocks rose 0.2% by 0822 GMT after sliding on Tuesday to its lowest level since November 2020 on fears Fed tightening could significantly slow down the global economy. The index is down 17% so far this year.
The pan-European index rose 0.7%. U.S. equity futures rose, with the Nasdaq and up 0.8% and 0.7% respectively.
Concerns over faltering growth, exacerbated by the latest virus lockdowns in China, curbed a selloff in government bonds that saw 10-year U.S. benchmark yields surge past 3% this month for the first time since December 2018.
“It’s an unanchored market where people don’t know where (yields) are going to. The growth side is coming more and more to the fore in terms of market concerns,” said Charles Diebel, head of fixed income at Mediolanum International Funds.
“If inflation continues to print higher and higher the market will continue to sell off. Intuitively inflation cannot keep going up as base effects will unwind at some point but are we are that price yet?” he added.
Analysts expect the U.S. consumer price index to show a sharp pullback in monthly growth, cooling to 0.2% in April from 1.2% in March.
They also predict an annual increase of 8.1%, 0.4 percentage point lower than the prior 8.5%, which was the hottest reading since December 1981.
In Asia, Chinese blue chips rose 1.4% after Shanghai officials saying half the city had achieved “zero COVID” status, and after U.S. President Joe Biden saying he was considering eliminating Trump era tariffs on China.
Chinese data released on Wednesday however showed consumer prices gained 2.1% from a year earlier, above expectations and the fastest pace in five months, partly due to food prices.
U.S. Treasuries pulled back in European trading hours ahead of the data.
The benchmark 10-year note yield was down 4.7 basis points to 2.9421%, extending its fall from the three-year high of 3.203% hit on Monday.
The U.S. two-year yield, which often reflects the Fed rate outlook, fell 1.4 basis points to 2.592%.
Bets over aggressive Fed tightening has also supported the dollar this year.
The , which measures the greenback against six main peers, fell 0.3% to 103.65, below the two-decade high of 104.19 reached at the start of the week.
The Fed last week raised interest rates by 50 basis points and Chair Jerome Powell said two more such hikes are likely at the U.S. central bank’s coming policy meetings.
There has also been speculation in markets the Fed will need to go in for a massive 75 basis point hike at one meeting and currently Money markets are pricing over 190 basis points of combined rate hikes by year.
“The current problem is that the market is convinced that the Fed is determined to fight inflation and therefore willing to tolerate market volatility and some demand destruction more than in the past. Personally, I’m less convinced of this determination,” said Giuseppe Sersale, fund manager at Anthilia.
Oil bounced back after plunging nearly 10% over the previous two sessions, buoyed by supply concerns as the European Union works on gaining support for a ban on Russian oil and as major producers warned they may struggle to fill the gap when demand improves.
rose 2.6% to $105.10 a barrel and rose 2.5% to $102.3
rose around 0.7% steady at to $1850.2 an ounce.
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