La Gaceta De Mexico - Equities rebound as central banks in focus

Equities rebound as central banks in focus

Equities rebound as central banks in focus

Europe's equities pushed higher Wednesday as the European Central Bank pledged to ease the stress in volatile eurozone bond markets, while US stocks advanced ahead of a major US rate hike.

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Frankfurt, London and Paris stocks rallied, as investors were reassured by news of an emergency ECB meeting.

All three main indices had slid Tuesday, joining a global slide in equities on growing expectations that the US Federal Reserve will move aggressively to combat inflation at the conclusion of its latest scheduled monetary policy meeting on Wednesday.

Bitcoin extended this week's precipitous slide to approach the key level of $20,000 as investors continued to shun risky crypto assets, while oil prices retreated further on lower energy demand expectations.

- ECB move 'somewhat underwhelming' -

The ECB said after its surprise meeting that it would use "flexibility" to ease stress on in sovereign debt markets and design a new instrument to ward off a fresh crisis in the eurozone.

The borrowing costs of some eurozone countries have risen faster than those of others as the ECB tightens its monetary policy. The bank has vowed to prevent such "fragmentation" which occured during the eurozone debt crisis a decade ago.

The yield on 10-year Italian bonds fell on Wednesday.

The euro rose against the dollar before giving up gains after the ECB announcement. analyst Neil Wilson called the announcement "somewhat underwhelming" and did not merit a special meeting.

Earlier, Wilson had said the emergency meeting "smacks of panic and a lack of control -- but the market is happy to see it happen".

The ECB is due to raise eurozone interest rates and end its massive bond-buying stimulus programme in July.

Asian stock markets closed mixed Wednesday with investors on edge over the looming Fed decision that has taken on greater significance since forecast-busting US inflation recently sent shockwaves through world markets.

Wall Street's major stock indices advanced ahead of the Fed announcement.

Traders' screens were awash with red at the start of the week after data on Friday revealed that US consumer prices had soared at the fastest pace in four decades.

That confounded hopes that US inflation was stabilising and intensified pressure on policymakers to act.

The news ramped up bets that the Fed would hike interest rates at a steeper and faster pace than expected as it struggles to retain credibility.

Before Friday's data, the Fed had been tipped to lift borrowing costs by half a percentage point at Wednesday's meeting, but investors are now widely anticipating a three-quarter point increase, with some even suggesting one percentage point.

The moves fuelled worries that the tighter monetary conditions will deal a blow to the US economy and potentially send it into recession next year.

Data released Wednesday showed US retail sales declined by 0.3 percent in May, confounding analysts who had expected a modest rise.

"These numbers were worse than expected and point to a US economy that appears to be weaker than thought," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

"This should give the Fed pause if it is considering an outsized hike of" three-quarters of a percentage point, he added.

- Key figures at around 1530 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.5 percent at 30,502.35 points

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.2 percent at 3,444.49

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.3 percent at 7,280.53 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.4 percent at 13,485.29 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.4 percent at 6,030.13 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.1 percent at 26,326.16 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.1 percent at 21,308.21 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.5 percent at 3,305.41 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0405 from $1.0416 late Tuesday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.20659 from $1.1997

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.27 pence from 86.83 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 134.48 yen from 135.47 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.3 percent at $120.80 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.7 percent at $118.12 per barrel