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Wall Street looks to rebound after 2 down weeks

Japan Financial Markets
Posted at 7:48 AM, Dec 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-19 11:29:38-05

Wall Street futures pointed higher early Monday as markets try to rebound from back-to-back weekly losses, driven by fears that interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other central banks might tip the U.S. and global economies into recession.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.2% and futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.4%.

Wall Street fell Friday after the Fed raised its forecast of how long interest rates have to stay elevated to cool inflation near a four-decade high. The European Central Bank warned more rate hikes are coming.

That “hawkish rhetoric” indicates “mounting pipeline risks of a global recession,” said Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank in a report.

U.S. consumer inflation has eased to 7.1% over a year earlier in November from June’s 9.1% high but it still is painfully high.

The Fed on Wednesday raised its benchmark short-term lending rate by a one-half percentage point for its seventh hike this year. That dashed hopes the U.S. central bank might ease off increases due to signs inflation and economic activity are cooling.

The federal funds rate stands at a 15-year high of 4.25% to 4.5%. The Fed forecast will reach a range of 5% to 5.25% by the end of 2023. Its forecast doesn’t call for a rate cut before 2024.

In midday trading in Europe, the FTSE 100 in London and the DAX in Frankfurt each gained 0.5%, while the CAC 40 in Paris picked up 0.6%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.5% to 3,118.95 despite the ruling Communist Party announcing Friday it will try to reverse China's economic slump by stimulating domestic consumption and the real estate market.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 1.1% to 27,226.12 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.5% to 19,359.03.

The Kospi in Seoul retreated 0.6% to 2,346.49 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.2% lower at 7,133.90.

India's Sensex lost 0.8% to 61,337.81. Singapore and Bangkok advanced while New Zealand and Jakarta declined.

In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude rose 74 cents to $74.84 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.82 on Friday to $74.29. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, gained 81 cents to $79.85 per barrel in London. It lost $2.17 from the previous session to $79.04.

The dollar declined to 136.40 yen from Friday’s 136.56 yen. The euro gained to $1.0612 from $1.0600.

On Friday, the S&P 500 index lost 1.1% and turned in its second weekly decline. It is down about 19% this year. The Dow dropped 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite lost 1%.