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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares take breather after Fed rally, dollar slips on yen

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares take breather after Fed rally, dollar slips on yen

Reuters · 07/28/2022 04:50
GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares take breather after Fed rally, dollar slips on yen

European stocks lose momentum after Fed rallies U.S. and Asia

Markets relieved Fed even more hawkish after rate hike

Dollar retreats on yen, but bonds starts to retrace

By Marc Jones

- World shares consolidated a 6-week high on Thursday as investors scented a possible slowdown in the pace of U.S. rate hikes that had comforted bond markets and sent the dollar to a three-week low on the yen.

Europe made an upbeat start as record-busting $11.5 billion profits from oil giant Shell RDS A sent commodities shares .SXPP soaring, although momentum quickly faded ahead of what was expected to be some shaky euro zone confidence data later.

The U.S. Federal Reserve had surprised one by lifting rates 75 basis points (bps) to 2.25%-2.50% on Wednesday, but did alter its statement to cite some softening in recent data.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell sounded suitably hawkish on curbing inflation in his conference, but also dropped guidance on the size of the rate rise and that "at some point" it would be appropriate to slow down.

"There is pretty convincing risk-on reaction from the market to the Fed, but whether that can continue remains to be seen," said Abrdn investment director James Athey.

The reality was, he added, that if the U.S. central bank does slow its rate hikes it would only be because the economy was struggling, which would be a good sign.

"The bias is we don't see much more on the upside (in share markets) given that there is recessionary outlook," Athey said. "Everybody is somewhere on the spectrum."

The futures market 0#FF: still has 100 bps of further tightening priced in by year-end, but also implies around 50 bps of rate cuts over 2023. FEDWATCH

Just the hint of a less aggressive Fed though had been enough to send MSCI's 47-country index of world shares .MIWD00000PUS up 0.4%, putting it firmly on course for its first back-to-back run of weekly gains since March.

With Europe facing a gas crisis, and increasingly likely a recession according to economists, the STOXX 600 stalled after rising as much as 0.5%. The FTSE .FTSE and DAX .GDAXI both slipped into the red although Italy's FTSE MIB .FCHI remained 1% higher. .EU

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei .N225 had added 0.4% despite a jump from the yen JPY=. South Korea .KS11 climbed 0.8% although Chinese blue chips .CSI300 lost traction late on having been brightened earlier in the session by reports Beijing was planning more support for a hard-hit property sector.

Wall Street also looked set to take a post-Fed breather, with S&P 500 futures ESc1 0.2% lower and Nasdaq futures NQc1 down 0.5%, after the tech-heavy index had enjoyed its biggest daily gain since April 2020 on Wednesday.

Yet shares of several major U.S. tech companies, including Meta Platforms META, slid after hours as poor quarterly results and outlooks underscored recession fears.


Traders will be feverishly awaiting results from iPhone maker Apple and Amazon later following torrid runs for their stock prices this year. .N

Attention will also be on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)data for the second quarter where another reading would meet the technical definition of a recession, though the United States has its own method of deciding those.

Median forecasts are for growth of 0.5%, but the closely watched Atlanta Fed estimate of GDP is for a fall of 1.2%.

In bond markets, two-year Treasury yields US2YT=RR steadied at 3.00% after falling 6 bps in the wake of the Fed meeting. US/

Although the U.S. yield curve steepened slightly, most of it remained inverted in a sign investors believe policy tightening will lead to an economic downturn and lower inflation.

Europe's benchmark 10-year German bund yield DE10YT=TWEB climbed 5 basis points in morning trading which left it on the cusp of 1% again. GVD/EUR

"While central banks are still on track to continue tightening this year, it is increasingly likely that the most rapid pace of rate hikes may be behind us," analysts at JPMorgan said in a .

Others are so sure. Flavio Carpenzano investment director at Capital Group, which manages $2.6 trillion worth of assets, said 9% inflation in the U.S. would remain the main concern for the Fed.

"Combining this with a labour market that remains very tight, it's difficult to envisage the Fed can slow or justify a slower hiking pace."

In currencies, the dollar index eased a fraction to 106.260 =USD after losing 0.7% overnight as risk sentiment improved.

It also suffered a rare setback on the Japanese yen, falling 0.7% to 135.56 JPY=EBS as some investors decided to book profits on a host of long positions. FRX/

The euro hovered around $1.0204 EUR=, having bounced 0.9% overnight, but faces stiff resistance at $1.0278.

The single currency still has an energy crisis to contend with as the IMF warned that a complete cut-off of Russian gas to Europe by year-end may lead to virtually zero economic growth year.

Russia has delivered less gas to Europe this week and warned of further cuts to come, boosting prices for gas and oil globally. A drop in crude inventories and a rebound in gasoline demand in the United States also supported prices. O/R

Brent rose another $1.40 to $108 a barrel, having bounced 2% overnight, while U.S. crude CLc1 gained $1.50 to $98.73.

Spot gold XAU= was 0.6% firmer at $1,744 an ounce, having benefited from the dip in the dollar and bond yields.GOL/

(Additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney and Sujata Rao in London; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

((marc.jones@thomsonreuters.com; +44 (0)20 7513 4042; Reuters Messaging: marc.jones.thomsonreuters.com@reuters. Twitter @marcjonesrtrs))

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