Equities rally fizzles, dollar dented

Markets have been jittery this month as investors have become concerned the US will raise interest rates faster than previously expected
AFP

London (AFP) – Stocks mostly fell in Europe and the United States on Tuesday as the previous day’s rebound faded, while the dollar slid against its major rivals.

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 fell 0.7 percent and the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.6 percent.

Outside the eurozone, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1 percent as gains by shares in heavyweight mining companies helped cushion the fall.

“European markets are failing to follow through on yesterday’s bounce and a decent performance overnight in Asia, with the main bourses in the red…” said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital traders.

Wall Street also moved lower, with the Dow sliding 0.4 percent in late morning trading.

“US stocks are lower in early action, coming off a two-day recovery from a recent pullback to correction territory, with global uneasiness regarding the spike in volatility as of late festering and some key inflation data looming on the week’s horizon,” said analysts at Charles Schwab brokerage.

David Madden at CMC Markets said there was little confidence in the recovery.

“Dealers don’t know which way to turn as uncertainty persists, and a lack of direction is adding to the fear that we could see another sell-off,” he said.

On Monday, all major indices on Wall Street and in Europe finished more than one percent higher.

In Asia on Tuesday, stocks markets mostly rose, tracking the overnight rally in New York after last week’s US battering, but early gains were tempered and Tokyo ended down on lingering uncertainty and worries about further turmoil, traders said.

While some stability has returned to trading floors, investors are keeping a nervous eye on the release Wednesday of key US inflation data.

Global stock markets have plunged this month, with only brief recoveries, as the yield on US Treasury bonds has risen to four-year highs.

This is in response to analysts betting on Federal Reserve interest rates being hiked faster than expected this year on high US inflation.

“The market is trying to find a positive equilibrium, and if we can get through this week’s critical US (inflation data) relatively unscathed, then it would most certainly look as if last week was little more than a corrective episode rather than the commencement of a bear market,” noted Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at Oanda trading group. 

On currency markets Tuesday, the dollar continued to struggle against the yen, with investors seeking solace in the haven Japanese unit. The pound and euro were also stronger.

Elsewhere, the South African rand was being sold on political uncertainty with scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma reportedly rejected a direct order from the ruling ANC party to leave office.

Oil prices pushed further lower after the International Energy Agency blamed falling prices on surging crude production in the United States.

“Oil price rises have come to a halt and gone into reverse,” the IEA wrote in its monthly market report published Tuesday, saying the “main factor” behind this was booming US production.

In cryptocurrency trading meanwhile, bitcoin dropped to $8,532.22 from $8,825 on Monday. 

– Key figures around 1630 GMT – 

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,168.01 points (close) 

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.7 percent at 12,196.50 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.6 percent at 5,109.24 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.7 percent at 3,344.23

New York – DOW: DOWN 0.4 percent at 24,502.83

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.7 percent at 21,244.68 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.3 percent at 29,839.53 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.0 percent at 3,184.96 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2364 from $1.2291 at 2200 GMT 

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3899 from $1.3837

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.54 yen from 108.64 yen

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 29 cents at $62.30 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 57 cents at $58.72

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