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Global Market: Mixed day for stocks as European inflation soars

AFP . New York
01 Oct 2022 09:45:40 | Update: 01 Oct 2022 09:55:45
Global Market: Mixed day for stocks as European inflation soars
A trader works at the trading floor of KBC bank in Brussels, Belgium — Courtesy/ Reuters File Photo

Global stocks finished mixed after another volatile week, with European bourses rallying despite troubling inflation data and Wall Street continuing to retreat.

Eurozone consumer prices skyrocketed by a record 10 per cent in September, official data showed, reaching double digits amid soaring energy prices caused by Russia's war on Ukraine.

Stoked by a staggering 40.8 per cent rise in energy prices, the yearly inflation rate in the 19-country single currency area hit its highest level since records began, according to Eurostat.

Nevertheless, markets in Paris and Frankfurt ended the day with gains of over one per cent, pushing higher after recent losses.

London stocks also ended the day with a small gain as the British pound advanced again following the Bank of England's surprise intervention in the bond market Wednesday after sterling sank to an all-time low against the dollar.

"Sterling has been all over the place this week," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at City Index and Forex.com. "For traders, the pound is a confusing arena to be in right now."

A poll Friday showed 51 per cent of people think new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss should quit after championing a large tax cut in a bid to boost the economy that drew an unusual public rebuke from the International Monetary Fund.

The controversial economic package, which will dramatically increase government borrowing, also unusually lacked an accompanying cost analysis forecast from the country's fiscal watchdog, the Office of Budget Responsibility.

Back in New York, major indices again finished decisively lower to conclude another difficult week defined by worries over inflation and the worsening Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Meanwhile, a closely-watched measure of US inflation released Friday showed the annual pace of price increases slowed slightly in August compared with the prior month. 

However, the inflation rate still exceeded analyst expectations, a dynamic that will likely keep the Federal Reserve on its current path to hike interest rates aggressively. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, a proxy for interest rates, rose closer to four per cent.

In Asia, Shanghai dropped as data showed China's manufacturing and services sectors struggled again in September from Covid lockdowns in parts of the country that have battered the world's number-two economy.

There was also little reaction to news that Beijing would allow some cities to reduce mortgage rates for first-home purchases as it tries to support the property market.

Market sentiment continues to be eroded by rising fears about developments in the Ukraine war, as Russia  annexed four occupied regions of its neighbor Friday, with President Vladimir Putin threatening to use nuclear weapons to defend the territories.

Key figures around 2050 GMT

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.7 per cent at 28,725.51 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 1.5 per cent at 3,585.62 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.5 per cent at 10,575.62 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 per cent at 6,893.81 (close)  

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.2 per cent at 12,114.36 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.5 per cent at 5,762.34 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.2 per cent at 3,318.20 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.8 per cent at 25,937.21 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.3 per cent at 17,222.83 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.6 per cent at 3,024.39 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1156 from $1.1117 on Thursday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $0.9802 from $0.9816

Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.82 pence from 88.29 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 144.80 yen from 144.46 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.6 per cent at $87.96 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.1 per cent at $79.49 per barrel