Global stocks mostly rise as Fed reiterates plan to battle inflation

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 26 2022 08:36 AM

A file photo dated 22 January 2008 showing the US Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC., USA. Matthew Cavanaugh, EPA-EFE/File
A file photo dated 22 January 2008 showing the US Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC., USA. Matthew Cavanaugh, EPA-EFE/File

NEW YORK, United States - Global stocks mostly rose Wednesday as markets adopted an optimistic view of Federal Reserve minutes that reiterated plans to raise interest rates.

After a positive session in Europe and a choppy morning in New York, Wall Street rallied following the afternoon release of the minutes from the May meeting.

Analysts welcomed statements that the Fed intends to move "expeditiously" to increase the benchmark borrowing rate and offload the massive bond holdings to tamp down inflation, statements that investors hope could improve the picture before long. 

"If the Fed is this aggressive, it's not impossible to think that by July or August you could see an improvement in inflation that might limit the need for further tightening," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services, adding that markets were also pleased that the minutes did not mention a three-quarters-point interest rate hike.

The broad-based S&P 500 finished one percent higher. 

Earlier, London stocks closed 0.5 percent higher, with Frankfurt rising 0.6 percent and Paris 0.7 percent. 

The gains came as the European Central Bank warned the Ukraine war has put financial markets under renewed stress by driving up prices and impeding growth.

The war has "increased financial stability risks through its impact on virtually all aspects of economic activity," ECB vice-president Luis de Guindos said in a statement.

Traders are also closely watching China, which continues to struggle with the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.

The world's second-biggest economy is sticking to its zero-Covid strategy despite the dire impact of lockdowns on growth.

And with no easing of that policy in sight, observers warned that a series of recent support measures would not be enough to lift optimism.

"Fiscal multipliers will be minimal in an economy where economic interaction and activity have slowed sharply," said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

"Moving beyond mobility restrictions in short order is a pre-condition, but not a guarantee, for an Asia-led economic recovery."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has, meanwhile, put financial markets under renewed stress by driving up prices and impeding growth, the European Central Bank said in a report published Wednesday.

RELATED VIDEO:

Watch more News on iWantTFC