Stocks surge on hopes interest rate hikes will slow

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 05 2022 08:51 AM

A pedestrian walks past a display showing closing information of Tokyo's Nikkei Stock Average outside a securities office in Tokyo, Japan, 27 February 2020. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA/FILE
A pedestrian walks past a display showing closing information of Tokyo's Nikkei Stock Average outside a securities office in Tokyo, Japan, 27 February 2020. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA/FILE


NEW YORK, United States - Global stocks gained on Tuesday and the dollar slid amid growing hopes the Federal Reserve could ease its interest-rate hiking plans.

Frankfurt and Paris equities each soared around four percent in value after Tokyo gained 3.0 percent, while London won 2.6 percent.

Wall Street's surged higher for the second straight day, with the Dow rising 2.8 percent. The S&P 500 jumped 3.1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite 3.3 percent.

The Federal Reserve and other central banks have raised interest rates rapidly to tame soaring inflation, but the monetary tightening has raised fears it could plunge countries into recession.

Those concerns fueled sharp drops in stocks in recent weeks, especially since the Fed has said it will continue to raise interest rates this year and possibly early next year as well to get on top of inflation.

But Wall Street enjoyed a bumper start to the fourth quarter after an industry survey released Monday showed US manufacturing growth slowed more than expected in September to its weakest in more than two years, and pricing pressures eased.

The buoyant trend equities continued on Tuesday after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised its policy interest rate just 0.25 percentage point, half the expected increase.

"Weaker-than-expected manufacturing data from the US was taken as a signal that rising interest rates may be having some effect on cooling demand for goods," said Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter.

"This in turn led to hopes of a Federal Reserve pivot, even though the spectre of inflation remains firmly at the top of their stated to-do list."

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury, a proxy for interest rates expectations, retreated further as investors bet that weakening economic data will prompt a similar pullback from the Fed.

Earlier, Asian markets built on the Wall Street surge. Tokyo and Seoul were among the leaders, despite news that North Korea had fired a missile over Japan for the first time since 2017.

Sydney soared 3.8 percent after the Reserve Bank of Australia lifted interest rates by less than expected.

Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed for holidays.

Investors will focus later this week on Friday's all-important US employment report for the latest reading on the health of the world's biggest economy, but new data Tuesday showed a dramatic decline in job openings in August.

That decline lowered the ratio of US openings to unemployed workers -- a key indicator of strains in the labor market -- to 1.7, from 2.0 in the prior month.

Sterling extends gains 

Oil also continued to push higher on expectations OPEC and other major producers will slash output this week, having become spooked by a plunge in the price of the commodity on recession fears.

The 13 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Riyadh, and their 10 allies headed by Moscow will hold Wednesday their first in-person meeting at the group's headquarters in Vienna since March 2020.

The rally in equities came as the US dollar weakened owing to moderating expectations for interest rate hikes, with the pound also supported by the UK government's decision to scrap a planned cut in the top rate of income tax.

The pound extended gains after breaking back above $1.14, having last Monday tanked to a record low $1.0350. The euro rose around 1.7 percent against the greenback.

Key figures around 2050 GMT 

New York - Dow: UP 2.8 percent at 30,316.32 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 3.1 percent at 3,790.93 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 3.3 percent at 11,176.41 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 4.2 percent at 6,039.69 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 3.8 percent at 12,670.48 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 2.6 percent at 7,086.46 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 4.3 percent at 3,484.48 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 3.0 percent at 26,992.21 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: Closed for a holiday

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1477 from $1.1323 on Monday

Euro/dollar: UP at $0.9992 from $0.9826

Euro/pound: UP at 87.03 pence from 86.77 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 144.09 yen from 144.55 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.4 percent at $91.80 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 3.5 percent at $86.52 per barrel

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