Global stocks in positive territory on signs of moderating US inflation - The National - Financial Daily News Site

Global stocks in positive territory on signs of moderating US inflation – The National

Global stocks pushed higher on Friday, with US indices snapping a slump of weekly losses, while oil prices rallied to their highest level in two months.

Following a positive day in European and Asian stock bourses, Wall Street stocks enjoyed another session entirely in positive territory, finishing higher for a third straight session.

It’s been a blistering 2022 thus far for US equities as the Federal Reserve has launched aggressive steps to tighten monetary policy in response to inflation.

But the Dow finished at 33,212.96, up 1.8 per cent for the day or 6.2 per cent for the week. The index had posted weekly losses the past eight weeks.

“The market itself was oversold and we knew that we were overdue for a bounce,” Quincy Krosby, chief equity strategist of LPL Financial.

A catalyst was Commerce Department data that showed the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index climbed 0.2 per cent after several months of accelerating at more than twice that pace.

The data gives support to the argument from stock market bulls that the US economy is moving past — or has progressed from — a period of “peak inflation”, indicating there will be less grim consumer price news in the months ahead.

The report also showed US personal income rose 0.4 per cent in April compared with March, and consumers continued to increase spending.

“Encouragingly, the latest US personal spending data showed that US consumers were still inclined to spend money with a rise of 0.9 per cent, which was slightly higher than markets had been expecting,” said Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.

Meanwhile, oil prices also forged higher, with Brent futures ending up 1.7 per cent at $119.43 a barrel. Analysts cited speculation of a compromise deal in the European Union to ban Russian crude imports.

Back in Asia, investors were in a buying mood as Hong Kong jumped more than 2 per cent, with market heavyweight Alibaba piling on more than 11 per cent and search engine Baidu advancing 15 per cent.

The two companies posted better-than-expected sales growth in the January-March quarter, soothing fears about the impact of Covid-19 and inflation on their bottom lines.

Hong Kong’s tech index jumped nearly 3 per cent, with other companies also enjoying buying interest with JD.com and Meituan sharply up.

The reports were much-needed pieces of good news out of the world’s second-biggest economy, which is being battered by lockdowns in major cities as leaders refuse to budge from their zero-Covid strategy.

Updated: May 28, 2022, 7:55 AM



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