Asian stocks steady; Crude drops further below $100

Bloomberg | Updated on: Jul 07, 2022
A security guard stands in front of a panel displaying stock indexes of Asian markets at Hong Kong Exchanges in Hong Kong,

A security guard stands in front of a panel displaying stock indexes of Asian markets at Hong Kong Exchanges in Hong Kong, | Photo Credit: Tyrone Siu

Markets expect another 75 basis point Fed hike in July

Asian stocks were steady Thursday and oil slipped further back from $100 a barrel as investors weighed the Federal Reserve’s determination to tackle inflation even at the expense of slower economic growth.

MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific share index fluctuated amid mixed performance across the region, including a drop in Hong Kong but a climb in South Korea aided by a jump in Samsung Electronics Co. after its results. US futures fell following a choppy Wall Street session that produced modest gains.

The minutes of the Fed’s June meeting flagged the possibility of “even more restrictive” monetary policy to prevent entrenched inflation. That triggered a slide in Treasuries on Wednesday led by shorter maturities, but they pared some of that move in Asian trading.

Markets expect another 75 basis point Fed hike in July. The peak of the tightening cycle in early 2023 is now seen at above 3.4% from around 3.2% earlier. A dollar gauge held at around the highest level in over two years.

Recession fears

Inversions along the US yield curve are among the signs of concern that higher rates could spark a recession and a reversal by the Fed in favor of looser policy later next year. Others include a broad retreat in commodities.

The latest market gyrations extend a period of volatility across assets as investors grapple with threats from elevated price pressures and a parlous economic outlook amid tightening monetary settings in much of the world.

Over the last couple of weeks “all asset classes have been giving us a unified message, which is slower growth is coming ahead,” Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist at Edward Jones & Co., said on Bloomberg Television.

US employment data

Data released Wednesday showed that US job openings dipped slightly in May but remained near a record, pointing to resilient demand for labor even as optimism about the economy’s prospects dim. Growth in the US services sector eased in June to a more than two-year low but exceeded estimates.

Meanwhile, China’s central bank looks set to withdraw cash from the financial system in a sign that it’s moving toward normalizing monetary policy as major global peers raise rates.

The pound held losses amid the continuing political drama in the UK. Boris Johnson told Cabinet colleagues he will not resign as Conservative leader and prime minister, despite a slew of ministers quitting and some of his closest allies demanding he go.

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Published on July 07, 2022
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