Lockdowns across China -- from the manufacturing hubs of Shenzhen and Shanghai to the breadbasket province of Jilin -- have wreaked havoc
London (AFP) - US and European stock markets rebounded Tuesday following days of losses on fears over rising US interest rates fuelled by surging inflation and the impact of China’s prolonged Covid lockdowns.
World stock markets have been on a tempestuous ride this year, but have seen sharp losses after the US Federal Reserve last week hiked interest rates by half a percentage point to get a grip on surging inflation.
Between rising prices eating into the disposable income of consumers and higher borrowing costs, investors have been increasingly concerned about the possibility of recession.
After several days of sharp losses, both European and US stock markets turned positive on Tuesday, with the Dow gaining 1.5 percent at the start of trading.
“The thrust of this morning’s upward movement is rooted in the thrashing that has been seen since last Wednesday’s highs,” said market analyst Patrick O’Hare at Briefing.com.
“Specifically, the Nasdaq Composite has dropped 10.5 percent from its high following the Potemkin-like rally in the wake of the” Fed’s announcement of the rate hike.
Many tech stocks are listed on the Nasdaq Composite and these companies are sensitive to interest rates and often viewed as riskier investments.
“We’re seeing a small recovery in stock markets on Tuesday, as investors dust themselves off following the rout at the start of the week,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at online trading platform OANDA.
“There’s clearly a huge amount of worry about a recession in the markets at the minute as central banks continue to aggressively tighten against the backdrop of a slowing economy and a cost-of-living crisis,” he added.
Asian equities mostly sank following sharp losses on Wall Street on Monday.
- Bitcoin woes -
Bitcoin on Tuesday slumped briefly under $30,000, reaching a 10-month low.
The volatile cryptocurrency has lost more than half its value since a November surge saw it reach a record-high of nearly $69,000.
While crypto enthusiasts view bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, an influx of more traditional investors tend to view it as a riskier asset.
They have been offloading bitcoin and other digital tokens along with other volatile assets like tech stocks as the US Federal Reserve moves to hike interest rates to tackle decades-high inflation.
Data on Tuesday showed inflation in Greece jumping by 10.2 percent in April, its highest level since 1995, while it reached its highest rate since 1984 in Denmark at 6.7 percent.
Inflation began to rise after countries emerged from Covid pandemic restrictions last year, but it worsened following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which pushed energy and food prices even higher.
The Ukrainian economy is set to contract by almost one third this year in the wake of Russia’s invasion, the European development bank said.
Ukraine’s output is set to contract 30 percent compared with an EBRD forecast of minus 20 percent given in March shortly after Moscow’s military offensive.
Elsewhere Tuesday, oil prices fell further but the losses were less severe than the drops of more than six percent Monday on weaker demand concerns.
- Key figures at around 1330 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 1.1 percent at 7,298.59 points
Frankfurt - DAX: UP 2.4 percent at 13,707.71
Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.9 percent at 6,204.07
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.7 percent at 3,540.85
New York - Dow: UP 1.5 percent at 32,724.54
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.8 percent at 19,633.69 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.1 percent at 3,035.84 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 26,167.10 (close)
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.7 percent at $105.24 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.5 percent at $102.55 per barrel
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0560 from $1.0563 on Monday
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2334 from $1.2331
Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.61 pence from 85.64 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 130.06 yen from 130.26 yen