Most Asian stock markets were unable to maintain the recent strong momentum
London (AFP) - Stock markets mostly rose, the dollar rallied and oil prices fell Friday as traders attempt to guess the size of the US Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike after sky-high US inflation eased.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent around midday despite official data showing that the UK economy contracted in the second quarter, boosting expectations that it will enter recession this year.
Eurozone indices were also higher following gains for major Asian stock markets, while oil prices shed one percent.
Equities have won support this week from data showing that US inflation pulled back from a four-decade high.
Federal Reserve officials have, however, lined up to warn against complacency.
San Francisco Fed chief Mary Daly was the latest, telling Bloomberg that she would likely support a half-point rate hike at next month’s meeting.
Daly said she was open to a third three-quarter-point increase in a row and tempered hopes that the central bank could begin cutting borrowing costs next year.
“I don’t see this hump-shaped part where we raise interest rates to really high rates and then bring them down,” she said.
“I think of raising them to a level that we know is going to be appropriate and then holding them there for a while so that we continue to bring inflation down until we’re well and truly done.”
Terri Jacobsen at UBS Financial Services said she expected “headwinds for the markets until we get some resolution on how far the Fed is going to go and how long they’re going to raise interest rates”.
On the corporate front, five major Chinese companies, including two of the country’s largest oil producers, said they would delist from the New York Stock Exchange.
It comes amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory.
Sinopec and PetroChina – two of the world’s biggest energy firms – will apply for “voluntary delisting” of their American depositary shares, the companies said in separate statements.
The Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chalco, as well as China Life Insurance and a Shanghai-based Sinopec subsidiary, announced similar moves.
- Key figures at around 1100 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,484.75 points
Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.4 percent at 13,747.24
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.2 percent at 6,555.11
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,763.90
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.6 percent at 28,546.98 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.5 percent at 20,175.62 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,276.89 (close)
New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 33,336.67 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0290 from $1.0326 Thursday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2125 from $1.2196
Euro/pound: UP at 84.86 pence from 84.65 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 133.64 yen from 133.05 yen
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.0 percent at $93.42 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.0 percent at $98.65 per barrel