American equity futures rose on Wednesday as more central-bank officials joined the chorus predicting that inflationary pressures are transitory, soothing new concerns raised by the latest U.S. economic data.
Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 signaled stocks could move higher today following a drop in U.S. benchmarks overnight after home-sale and consumer confidence data suggested rising prices are taking a toll. Treasuries paused after Tuesday’s rally and the dollar was steady.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index headed for a fifth day of gains, the longest streak this year, with travel and leisure shares leading the advance. Retailer Marks & Spencer Group Plc climbed more than 4% after reporting a rebound in demand. MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific share gauge also advanced for a fifth day, aided by gains in Hong Kong and China, where the onshore yuan hit a three-year high.
Signs of quickening inflation are giving investors pause for thought as they consider the outlook for the exceptional stimulus buoying markets. Still, central bankers around the globe are playing down the risk of rising prices. The question is how long the Fed and other central banks can keep stimulative monetary policy in place if economic data continue to show price pressures.
“What we keep hearing from the Fed is that they’re going to take a very different approach to inflation this time around,” Kristina Hooper, Invesco chief global market strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “The Fed is likely to let the punchbowl stay out a lot longer. The big fear about inflation is that the Fed would act.”
Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said price pressures in the U.S. would largely be transitory, though he added officials may be ready to begin discussing how to taper asset purchases in “upcoming meetings”. Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau talked down stimulus adjustments anytime soon, while European Central Bank Executive Board member Fabio Panetta said he sees no signs of sustained inflation that would allow for a reduction in bond purchases.
Elsewhere, oil was steady and gold erased 2021 losses. Bitcoin rallied back above the $40,000 level as cryptocurrencies recover some of the ground lost in this month’s volatile rout.
Here are some events this week:
- CEOs of the largest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, will testify before lawmakers in the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees Wednesday.
- U.S. initial jobless claims, GDP, durable goods, pending home sales on Thursday.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1% as of 9:34 a.m. London time
- Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.3%
- Futures on the Nasdaq 100 rose 0.2%
- Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4%
- The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.4%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat
- The euro was little changed at $1.2246
- The Japanese yen was little changed at 108.83 per dollar
- The offshore yuan rose 0.4% to 6.3847 per dollar
- The British pound was little changed at $1.4152
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 1.56%
- Germany’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to -0.19%
- Britain’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.77%
- Brent crude rose 0.2% to $69 a barrel
- Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,909 an ounce
— With assistance by Macarena Munoz Montijano, and Andreea Papuc