Salem Radio Network News Thursday, December 2, 2021

Business

Stocks steady, oil rallies ahead of U.S. inflation data

By Carolyn Cohn and Tom Westbrook

LONDON (Reuters) – Global stocks steadied below this week’s record highs and oil prices rose in jittery markets on Wednesday ahead of inflation data later in the day.

The U.S. consumer price index for October is predicted by a Reuters poll of economists to come in at an annualised 4.3% on the closely watched core measure, versus the U.S. Federal Reserve’s average annual 2% inflation target.

“We know inflation is high right now, equity markets don’t expect it to stay too high for too long,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

The mood could change if there were signs that inflation pressures went beyond supply chain concerns, he added.

Brent and U.S. crude futures extended gains into a fourth session, hitting two-week highs around $85 a barrel, after industry data showed U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly fell last week.

The MSCI global equity index was stable and S&P 500 futures were also flat after Wall Street closed lower on Tuesday, ending a multi-day rally of consecutive record closing highs as the end of a consensus-beating earnings season comes into view.

European stocks gained 0.18%, helped by energy stocks, but were also stuck below recent highs, while Britain’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.36%.

Another inflation warning came from Chinese factory gate prices, which are gaining at their fastest clip in a quarter century.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan reversed earlier losses to gain 0.16%.

Shares in Chinese property developer Fantasia Holdings fell as much as 50%, before recouping some losses, after a six-week trading halt as the company warned it might not be able to meet its debt obligations.

Oxford Economics analysts said they expected China’s property downturn to be “contained” but added that “with shifting demographics, high numbers of empty apartments, and some big property developers being heavily over-leveraged, China‚Äôs huge property sector could crash more heavily”.

Hong Kong stocks also recovered ground, gaining 0.75% after earlier hitting a one-month low.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.6%, hurt by the rising cost of raw materials.

The dollar gained 0.19% against the safe-haven yen to 113.10 after hitting a one-month low on Tuesday, while the euro fell 0.22% to $1.1566. The dollar index was up 0.19% at 94.15.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield picked up 2.4 basis points to 1.4728% after it touched a six-week low of 1.4150% on Tuesday.

Euro zone bond yields also ticked up, with Germany’s 10-year yield, the benchmark for the bloc, up one basis point to -0.29%, slightly above the seven-week low of -0.299% touched on Tuesday.

Brent crude futures were at $85.16 a barrel up 0.44%, after rising 1.6% on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.1%, to $84.19 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s 2.7% gain.

Gold and Bitcoin have been the primary beneficiaries of the market turbulence, with gold up about 3.5% in a week to $1,826 an ounce and Bitcoin hovering at $66,778 after hitting a record of $68,564 a day ago.

(Editing by Michael Perry, Sam Holmes and Angus MacSwan)

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