Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Stocks, US futures drop as Fed outlook hits mood: markets wrap

Stocks, US futures drop as Fed outlook hits mood: markets wrap
A pedestrian is reflected in an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Asian stocks climbed to a new record, as technology shares remained strong in the first session of 2021. (Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg)

US equity futures and Asian stocks fell on Thursday on economic growth worries amid a hawkish drumbeat from central banks, pushing up the dollar as investors sought a haven from the volatility in global markets.

Tech firms helped send an Asian share index to a six-week low, with China’s bourses among the few to hold steady. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts slid, the latter in part on a tumble in chipmaker Nvidia Corporation over a sales warning

The jitters come after the worst month since June for US shares, reflecting fears of an economic downturn alongside restrictive monetary policy to curb inflation. The two-year Treasury yield touched 3.50% for the first time since 2007 amid a bond selloff that also buffeted Australian and New Zealand debt.

Commodity-linked and Group-of-10 currencies weakened as the dollar advanced. The yen fell to a fresh 24-year low, heading closer to the 140 per-dollar level.

Stocks are entering a month that is often poor for returns after an August of losses across key asset classes. A bounce in global shares from June lows is fizzling as the Federal Reserve pushes back against bets on tempered rate hikes. Global bonds, meanwhile, are sliding toward the first bear market in a generation.

The market is getting the message that the US central bank is going to fight inflation at all costs, Frances Stacy, director of strategy at Optimal Capital Advisors, said on Bloomberg Radio. “I don’t think we’ve seen the bottom for this year,” she added.

No cuts

Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester reiterated the central bank needs to raise its benchmark rate above 4% by early next year. She said she doesn’t anticipate rate cuts in 2023.

Elsewhere, oil was on the back foot, sliding to about $89 a barrel. Aggressive Fed tightening and China’s slowdown are dimming the demand outlook. Bitcoin weakened, hovering around the closely watched $20,000 level.

The latest economic data underlined a parlous outlook for China. A private survey suggested factory activity contracted in August, sapped by power shortages and Covid-linked curbs. BM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options