Global Stocks Rise Ahead of ECB Decision

• U.S. inflation data expected

Global stocks climbed ahead of expected stimulus from the European Central Bank and as the White House delayed extra tariffs on Chinese imports. With trade talks due to be held in Washington next month between the U.S. and China, President

Trump

postponed new tariffs on $250 billion in goods that were due to take effect on Oct. 1 by two weeks, a conciliatory gesture that could point to easing tensions. Stocks were broadly higher across Asia, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.6% and Japan’s Nikkei up 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was an outlier, slipping 0.1%. The offshore yuan was up 0.4% against the U.S. dollar. The yuan’s relative weakness has been a source of tension between the countries in recent weeks, with the U.S. accusing China of currency manipulation after a sharp depreciation in the yuan. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.2%, with gains across most regional indexes. Investors were focused on the European Central Bank’s policy decision due later Thursday, where expectations were high for a stimulus package. Analysts anticipate an interest-rate cut of at least a 10 basis points to its key deposit rate. The policy statement is due at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt. “The ECB is running out of options to counter the gloom,” said

Robert McAdie,

chief cross-asset strategist at

BNP Paribas
.

Other efforts to support growth in the eurozone may include measures to cushion banks from the impact of negative interest rates, which can put pressure on profits. Many investors were also predicting a return to quantitative easing, by way of restarting the ECB’s asset purchase program. Despite the hopes for supportive moves for European banks, the sector’s stocks were down 0.4%. Government bond yields, which had climbed in recent days, were down across the board in Europe. Germany’s 10-year bund fell to minus 0.576%. The U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.723%, from 1.733% on Wednesday, after posting three straight days of gains. Bond prices fall as yields rise. Inflation data from the U.S., expected later Thursday, could have an impact on Federal Reserve decision makers ahead of their meeting next week. Recent updates to the consumer-price index from the Labor Department suggested inflation might be making a comeback. With strong wage growth reported last month, prices may continue to rebound after a weak start to the year. Excluding volatile sectors like fuel and food, so-called core CPI should have risen 0.2% in August, economists expect. Figures will also be released on the number of weekly U.S. jobless claims, with an expectation of 216,000, nearly level from last week’s 217,000. In commodities, Brent crude rose 0.4% to $61.02 a barrel. Gold was flat, after its price climbed following Mr. Trump’s call for the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates to zero. Lower interest rates tend to support the price of the haven metal by making it more competitive with yield-bearing assets like bonds. Write to Anna Isaac at anna.isaac@wsj.com

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