The trade standoff is spooking investors
New York (AFP) - The dollar rose Thursday ahead of a key US inflation report as global stocks finished little changed amid ongoing trade conflict between Washington and Beijing.
The greenback rose a day before US consumer price index data is released for July, a key marker of the impact on households from some of the pricing pressures cited by companies during earnings season in recent weeks.
The data are watched closely to gauge whether the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates two more times in 2018 as expected.
“Recent economic news, including last Friday’s US payrolls report, reinforced the view that the US economy remains on very solid footing and that the Fed will likely continue to raise US borrowing costs at a steady clip,” said Omer Esiner of Commonwealth FX.
“Another monthly increase in CPI on Friday could be the catalyst that cements expectations for two more dollar-supportive Fed rate hikes this year and sends the US dollar higher.”
Key eurozone equity markets ended the day flat to slightly higher, but London lost ground as the pound strengthened against the euro, potentially undermining the competitiveness of British multinationals.
Wall Street stocks finished mostly lower following a low-key session.
Analysts pointed to lingering unease over trade war tensions after Beijing said Wednesday it would impose 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of US goods starting August 23, in tandem with Washington’s tariff schedule. The escalating crisis pits the world’s top two economies against each other and concerns about the impact are rippling outward.
“Investors are still wondering how quickly, if at all, the tariffs so far will start to affect companies and then economies,” IG analyst Chris Beauchamp told AFP.
“Market resilience over the past few weeks suggests investors have calmed down for the time being, at least where US equities are concerned.”
Asian stocks largely brushed off China’s tit-for-tat response, with most markets rising on Thursday.
Among individual companies, Tesla Motors fell 4.8 percent after reports the US Securities and Exchange Commission is probing the electric car maker after chief executive Elon Musk on Tuesday announced on Twitter he was considering taking the company private.
The SEC, which had already been gathering information on Tesla’s public pronouncements, added questioning of whether Musk’s claim that he had secured funding for a takeover to the inquiry was meant to be factual, according to the reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
- Key figures at 2100 GMT -
New York - Dow Jones: DOWN 0.2 percent 25,509.23 (close)
New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,853.58 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: UP less than 0.1 percent at 7,891.78 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,741.77 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.3 percent at 12,676.11 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 5,502.25 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,494.13 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.2 percent at 22,598.39 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 28,607.30 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.8 percent at 2,794.38 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1529 from $1.1610 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2826 from $1.2882
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.09 yen from 110.98 yen
Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 21 cents at $72.07 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 13 cent2 at $66.81 per barrel