Global markets turn bearish on recession fears

Investors ignore Fed’s large interest rate hike as economists warn over inflation



The US equities tumbled with the broad-based S&P 500 lost nearly three per cent to 3,689.43 points about an hour into the trading session. — Reuters file photo
The US equities tumbled with the broad-based S&P 500 lost nearly three per cent to 3,689.43 points about an hour into the trading session. — Reuters file photo
by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Thu 16 Jun 2022, 8:29 PM

Global stock markets on Thursday shrugged off an initial positive sentiments from the US Federal Reserve’s large interest rate hike the day before aimed at countering runaway inflation without triggering a recession.

Markets initially welcomed the Fed move, the first 75-basis point rate hike since November 1994 as investors took heart from the Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s comments suggesting future rate increases may be more modest, but later Wall Street and other markets reversed the trend as the economists warned the gains might be short-lived given the extent that high inflation has seeped into the world economy.

The US equities tumbled with the broad-based S&P 500 lost nearly three per cent to 3,689.43 points about an hour into the trading session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.3 per cent to 29,950.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3.6 per cent to 10,701.92.

European, Asian markets fall

European benchmarks and most Asian markets, including the Gulf stocks, also fell in line with the US equities.

“GCC stock markets moved negatively in reaction to the US Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates on Wednesday. The larger hike could impact economic growth more sharply and could change investors’ approach toward risk,” Farah Mourad, senior market analyst of XTB Mena, told Khaleej Times.

The Saudi benchmark Tadawul All Share Index, shed 1.29 per cent or 154.09 points, at 11,824.42 points. The UAE markets also turned bearish and closed into negative columns as investors reacted to the US central bank’s decision. The Dubai Financial Markets and the Abu Dhabi stock market ended 1.66 per cent and 0.99 per cent lower, respectively.

The Qatari stock market saw its main index slide as well following broader global negative performances. The market was also impacted by the fall in natural gas prices.

“The Dubai stock market declined as investors reacted to the US central bank’s decision. The market could see some price corrections as investors reassess their risk appetite,” Mourad said.

She said the Abu Dhabi stock market retreated as investors reduced their exposition to risk after the tighter monetary policy in the US. “The market could also see some risks from the evolution in oil prices,” she said.

Oil price fall

She said oil prices rebounded to a certain extent after yesterday’s decrease. Crude remains exposed to economic growth expectations which were impacted by the interest rate hike, she said.

Brent crude futures were down $1.37, or 1.2 per cent, to $117.14 a barrel in early trading, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.29 to $114.02, off 1.1 per cent. Prices slipped more than two per cent overnight after the Fed raised its key interest rate by 0.75 per cent.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 sank two per cent, Germany’s DAX dropped 2.7 per cent and Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 2.3 per cent. In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.4 per cent to finish at 26,431.20.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up earlier gains, falling nearly 0.2 per cent to 6,591.10. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2 per cent higher to 2,451.41. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2.2 per cent to 20,845.43, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6 per cent to 3,285.38 points.

PVM analyst Tamas Varga said concerns about global inflation are growing. “As a result, the dollar is stronger and European equities are falling, bringing oil down with them. This is why oil buyers are currently on the backfoot but since supply issues are still very much present, I believe that the move lower, which started on Tuesday, will not be a prolonged one,” Varga said.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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