© Reuters. Passersby are silhouetted as they walk past in front of an electric stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan October 18, 2022 REUTERS/Issei Kato
By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – Stock markets drifted lower on Thursday as bond yields climbed ahead of the next round of hefty central bank interest rate hikes starting next week, with an update from electric carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ:) rattling Wall Street.
prices rose on tight supplies, and the yen tumbled past the key psychological level of 150 against the dollar to hit a 32-year low, prompting fresh threats of intervention from Japan’s finance ministry.
Wall Street was headed lower as Nasdaq futures and were weaker, with Tesla down sharply pre-market on news it expected to miss its vehicle delivery target this year.
touched a 14-year high, while 2-year German government bond yields rose to their highest since December 2008.
“There is a concern the economy over the course of the next 12 months is going to be extraordinarily difficult, with the mood slightly pessimistic when it comes to corporate earnings,” said Mike Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets.
Investors were readying for anticipated hefty rate hikes from the European Central Bank next week, and the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England in the following week, Hewson said.
The MSCI all country stock index eased, compounding a 25% drop so far this year. In Europe, the STOXX index of 600 companies was down 0.3%, and off by almost a fifth for the year.
Eren Osman, managing director of wealth management at Arbuthnot Latham & Co, said earnings so far in the United States and elsewhere had shown resilience as many companies beat expectations.
But earnings are likely to fall next year which, along with anticipated interest rate hikes in the United States and elsewhere, are already largely priced into markets, Osman said.
“Once we start to see the ISM manufacturing data start to trough, the markets will get some confidence that we have seen the worst of it. A lot of people are waiting for that moment of capitulation and it might not happen,” Osman said.
Graphic: Yen Hits 150 per $ – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/mopakmmzwpa/Two.PNG
ON YEN INTERVENTION WATCH
Asian shares fell on Thursday to their lowest since April 2020 as risk appetite among investors faded after inflation data across the globe reignited fears of more aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell as much as 0.8%, leaving it down about 29% for the year.
China’s stock market fell while Hong Kong stocks hit levels last seen during the 2008-09 global financial crisis.
China on Thursday kept its benchmark lending rates unchanged for a second straight month as authorities held off unleashing more monetary stimulus to avoid stark policy divergence with other major economies.
Sterling was little changed at $1.1227 as Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss struggled to retain a grip on power.
“It’s worth considering whether a call for a General Election might actually be positive for sterling,” ING economists said in a note.
The fell to a record low on Thursday. It bottomed at 7.2794 per dollar, the lowest level since such data first became available in 2011, and last traded 7.2500.
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said job market demand remained strong and underlying inflation pressures probably had not peaked yet.
The U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise rates by 75 basis points for the fourth straight time at its November meeting.
The rise in the dollar and yields pushed gold lower, with prices lingering at a three-week trough on Thursday. [/GOL]
Oil prices rose in response to tighter supplies and on news that China is considering a cut in the duration of quarantine for inbound visitors.
futures for December settlement rose 1.6% to $93.92 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery, which expires on Thursday, rose 2.28% to $87.50 per barrel.
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