Shares Hug 13-Month High In Listless Trade

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Global Stocks hovered near a 13-month high on Wednesday and the US dollar drifted lower as attention turned towards next week's pivotal inflation data and federal Reserve meeting, where chances of a rate hike continued to ebb.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar jumped after the bank of Canada lifted interest rates to a 22-year-high of 4.75 per cent , while Turkey's lira plunged to a record low against the dollar as authorities appeared to loosen stabilising measures after signalling a pivot to more orthodox policies.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index slipped 0.14 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.16 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.45 per cent .

The pan-European benchmark STOXX 600 index was flat, compared with a 0.75 per cent jump in the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan. That allowed the MSCI's broadest index of world stocks to be little changed, after rising 0.19 per cent earlier to a 13-month high.

Still, some analysts warned that investors might be too sanguine about interest rate risks.

“Markets are pricing a relatively low probability of a hike in June, and putting more probability on a July hike,” said economists at Citi.“But monetary policy elsewhere illustrates both the economic peril of a premature pause and the potential for resurgent inflation to provoke 'surprise' rate hikes,” they said, citing central banks in Australia and Canada as examples.

Indeed, in a sign that markets are shrugging off any rate uncertainty for now, the CBOE's VIX, a measure of expected stock market volatility, hovered around 14 on Wednesday, near its lowest close since February 2020.

The two-year Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, rose to 4.6003 per cent . The yield on 10-year Treasuries also climbed to 3.7256 per cent .

Treasury yields have been drifting higher, in part on concerns that an impending issuance of $1 trillion or more in short-term debt may tighten credit conditions in the market.

The dollar fell 0.14 per cent against a basket of currencies, while the Turkish lira weakened more than 7 per cent earlier to a record low of 23.17 per dollar, its biggest one-day sell-off since the 2021 crash.

“It looks like the central bank's efforts to fight a stronger dollar is either fading – after Erdogan's victory in the latest elections – or keeping the lira steady is becoming more difficult and increasingly expensive,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Data from China showed exports shrank much faster than expected in May and imports fell, albeit at a slower pace, as manufacturers struggled to find demand abroad and domestic consumption remained sluggish.

“The Chinese trade data is the latest indicator that tells you there's nothing good going on in global demand,” eToro's Laidler said.

“There's a huge gulf in the global economy between services and manufacturing. This is a warning sign that global growth will slow from here. The question is how much,” Laidler added.

Oil prices edged higher as Saudi Arabia's weekend pledge to cut output outweighed weak Chinese data.

Brent crude futures jumped 1.3 per cent to $77.28 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 1.5 per cent to $72.84 a barrel.

A softer dollar supported bullion prices. Gold inched higher-to-flat at $1,958.4 per ounce.

Bitcoin was trading at about $26,524, consolidating after a sharp rebound on Tuesday from as low as $25,350.

The token has been a paradoxical beneficiary of a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges, and the classification of tokens including Solana, Cardano and Polygon as securities.


Khaleej Times

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