NEW YORK, Sept 14, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Global stocks were mixed on Thursday,
with Wall Street equities gaining after a tepid inflation report and the
latest conciliatory move between the US and China on trade.
Analysts also said sentiment was boosted by a Turkish decision to hike
interest rates, which boosted the Turkish currency.
“In the end, it wasn’t the fairly uninteresting updates from the Bank of
England or the ECB, nor a much-needed, and huge, rise in interest rates from
the Central Bank of Turkey, that got the markets moving this Thursday but
rather a disappointing inflation reading from the US,” said Spreadex analyst
US consumer price inflation slid to 2.7 percent on an annual basis in
August, from 2.9 percent in July, removing one source of pressure that could
push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than the gradual pace
it has indicated.
Among major US indices, the tech-rich Nasdaq led the way with a 0.8
percent gain that included a handsome 2.4 percent gain for Apple a day after
it unveiled new iPhone models.
Earlier, markets in Asia started off a rally after the United States
reached out to China for fresh talks in a bid to avert a trade war, providing
some much-needed respite to weary investors.
News that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited top Chinese
officials for talks came just under a week after Donald Trump threatened to
impose tariffs on all $500 billion worth of imports from China.
China’s commerce ministry on Thursday welcomed the offer and said the two
sides were discussing details.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2.5 percent, having fallen for six
straight days and into a bear market, which is a 20 percent drop from its
January record high.
Most other markets in the region followed it higher.
In Europe, London ended the day down 0.4 percent, penalized by a stronger
pound which hurts companies which do most of their business globally and
convert profits back into sterling.
The European Central Bank indicated it planned to continue reducing its
asset purchases, which helped the euro rise against the dollar.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 managed to remain in the green but the CAC 40 in Paris
slid into the red just before the closing bell.
– Turkish delight –
The biggest surprise on Thursday came from Turkey’s central bank, which
announced a massive rate hike to battle soaring inflation and boost the lira,
prompting the embattled currency to surge in value.
The central bank hiked the one week repo auction rate 625 basis points
from 17.75 percent to 24 percent, significantly higher than the Bloomberg
consensus of 21 percent.
The lira reacted strongly to the decision, rising by five percent in value
to 6.0 lira to the US dollar. It later shed some of those gains but was still
up over 4.1 percent in value at 6.08 to the dollar.
Crude oil prices tumbled as Hurricane Florence weakened on its approach
towards the US east coast, reducing the risk of damage and disruption to oil
Traders also focused on the International Energy Agency announcement that
global oil output hit a record of 100 million barrels per day in August,
providing some relief from concerns about supplies as exports from Iran and
– Key figures around 2100 GMT –
New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.6 percent at 26,145.99 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.5 percent at 2,904.18 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.8 percent at 8,013.71 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,281.57 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 12,055.55 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,328.12 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,333.68 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 22,821.32 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 2.5 percent at 27,014.49 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 2,686.58 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1689 from $1.1626 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3105 from $1.3045
Dollar/yen: UP at 111.94 yen from 111.26 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN $1.56 at $78.18 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $1.78 at $68.59 per barrel