| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Inflation fears stalk stocks

A sell-off in global shares extended to its longest losing streak in two months on Wednesday as surging commodity prices and growing inflationary pressure in the United States prompted bets on earlier interest rate hikes and higher bond yields.

A limited equity market recovery emerged in European early trade, with the continent’s shares STOXX 600 index adding 0.4% after Tuesday’s slump.

London’s FTSE 100 led the way, buoyed by data showing Britain’s pandemic-battered economy grew more strongly than expected in March.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slumped 0.9%, having earlier touched its lowest since March 26.

After hitting fresh record highs earlier in the week, MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe was 0.2% down, its third consecutive day of losses, the longest-running streak since March 4.

Investor focus was locked on the U.S. consumer price index report to be released by the U.S. Labor Department at 1230 GMT, with analysts expecting a 3.6% lift in year-on-year prices, boosted by last April’s low base.

U.S. Treasury yields remained stuck in a tight range. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries drifted lower to 1.6130%, below the recent peaks of late March levels and far from the 1.9% level at the start of 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic.

Euro zone bond yields held below recent highs touched on Tuesday. Germany’s 10-year yield was down 1 basis point to -0.17%, after rising to the highest since March 2020 at -0.152% on Tuesday.

  • Reuters