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Asian stocks have followed Wall Street lower ahead of U.S. inflation data traders worry will show upward pressure on prices still is too strong for the Federal Reserve to ease off interest rate hikes. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul declined early Wednesday. Oil prices edged lower. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% for its fourth daily decline. U.S. government data are expected to show headline inflation in July eased from the previous month's four-decade high of 9.1%. But traders expect core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy, leaving rent and other expenses, to edge higher.
Asian shares are mostly declining amid a global fall in technology shares, including Japan’s SoftBank, which just reported hefty losses caused by the market downturn. Such worries are coming on top of concerns about inflation and what central banks might do to curb it. Shares fell Tuesday in Tokyo but rose in other regional markets. U.S. futures edged higher while oil prices fell. Analysts say regional tensions also remain a risk after the recent visit of U.S. House Speak Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. Technology stocks were the biggest drag on Wall Street, where the benchmark S&P 500 edged 0.1% lower.
A currency trader passes by screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the exchange rate of South Korean won against the U.S. dollar, center, at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. Asian stocks were mixed Monday after strong U.S. jobs data cleared the way for more interest rate hikes and Chinese exports rose by double digits. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A currency trader watches monitors in front of screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the exchange rate of South Korean won against the U.S. dollar at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. Asian stock markets rose Friday ahead of U.S. job market data that might influence Federal Reserve decisions about further interest rate hikes. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A currency trader passes by screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the exchange rate of South Korean won against the U.S. dollar at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Asian shares mostly rose Thursday as investors welcomed encouraging economic data and quarterly earnings reports from big companies. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for September delivery rose $2.20 to $98.62 a barrel Friday. Brent crude for September delivery rose 52 cents to $107.14 a barrel. Wholesa e gasoline for August delivery fell 2 cents to $3.49 a gallon. August heating oil fell 6 cents to $3.62 a gallon. September natural gas rose 10 cents to $8.23 per 1,000 cubic feet. Gold for August delivery rose $12.60 to $1,762.90 an ounce. Silver for September delivery rose 33 cents to $20.20 an ounce and September copper rose 10 cents to $3.57 a pound. The dollar fell to 133.35 Japanese yen from 134.35 yen. The euro rose to $1.021 from $1.017.
Inflation in the European countries using the euro currency shot up to another record in July, pushed by higher energy prices driven partly by the war in Ukraine. But the economy still managed better-than-expected, if meager, growth in the second quarter. The European Union statistics agency said Friday that annual inflation in the eurozone’s 19 countries rose to 8.9% in July, up from 8.6% in June. Inflation has been running at its highest level since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997. The economy grew from April through June, expanding by 0.7% compared with the previous quarter. Economists expect that to be the last glimmer of good news and the region to tip into recession later this year.
Asian shares are mostly higher following a broad rally on Wall Street, but Hong Kong's benchmark sank more than 2%. Investors have grown more convinced that the Federal Reserve may temper its aggressive interest rate hikes aimed at taming inflation after data showed the U.S. economy contracted in the last quarter. But investors are cautiously eyeing regional tensions over China’s stance on Taiwan after President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping spoke for more than two hours on Thursday. Japan's factory output in June jumped 8.9% from the previous month. The Commerce Department reported the U.S. economy contracted at a 0.9% annual pace in April-June following a 1.6% year-on-year drop in the first quarter.
Shares are mostly higher in Asia after the Federal Reserve ratcheted up its campaign against surging inflation by raising its key interest rate three-quarters of a point. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority matched that with an increase of its own. Oil prices pushed higher while U.S. futures edged lower. The Fed’s latest hike lifts the benchmark short-term rate to its highest level since 2018. The S&P 500 gained 2.6% and the technology heavy Nasdaq jumped by the most in over two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed higher. Strong earnings from Google's owner Alphabet, Microsoft and other companies helped lift investors’ mood.
Asian stock markets are higher as investors brace for another sharp interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve to cool inflation. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced. Tokyo edged lower. Oil prices rose more than $1 per barrel. Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index gained 0.1% ahead of this week’s Fed meeting at which officials are expected to announce a rate hike of up to three-quarters of a percentage point, triple the usual margin. Investors worry that aggressive rate hikes by the Fed and other central banks to contain surging inflation might derail global economic growth.