World stocks skid as consumer data flashes recession worry
LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – Global stock markets slipped for the second straight day on Wednesday and bond yields inched lower on growing fears that policymakers bent on dampening inflation will tip their economies into recession.
A succession of weak data releases in Europe and the United States has not prevented central bankers from doubling down on hawkish rhetoric. More is likely later on Wednesday when the heads of the European Central Bank, U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England speak at a central banking forum.
Data on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a 16-month low in June, yet several Fed policymakers pledged further rapid interest-rate hikes, citing the need to tame “unbridled” inflation. read more
Those U.S. figures, following a raft of dismal consumer confidence data across Europe, triggered steep Wall Street falls, sending the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes down 2% and 3% respectively (.SPX), (.NQC1).
U.S. and German 10-year bond yields slipped 2-4 basis points (bps), the former down around 30 bps from mid-June highs , .
The consumer sentiment deterioration clearly points to recession, Citi told clients.
After 7.5%-7.9% annual inflation prints across German provinces, an 8% June reading is expected for the country later in the day, versus 7.9% in May. Meanwhile Spanish annual inflation hit 10.2% in June, from 8.7% the previous month and the first time it surpassed 10% since 1985.
Paul O’Connor, head of Janus Henderson’s multi-asset team in London, predicted “stormy” markets as long as the growth- inflation question marks persisted.
“The problem is that the level of inflation is so problematic in so many parts of the world and we are a long way from central banks being able to declare the job is done,” O’Connor said.
“We will undoubtedly get growth downgrades over the summer but we will also get rising perception of recession risk and I don’t think markets are fully priced for it.”
Sentiment had lifted early on Tuesday on news China was easing quarantine requirements for inbound passengers in a major relaxation of its “zero COVID” strategy. read more
While parts of the Chinese stock market, including property, extended gains on Wednesday, the positive impact of the news largely petered out – Chinese blue-chips, which hit four-month highs on Tuesday, slumped 1.5% and Hong Kong lost 2% (.CSI300), (.HSI).
“Inevitably, markets tend to overreact to these sorts of news,” said Carlos Casanova, senior economist at UBP in Hong Kong. “In order for that to be sustainable, we really want to see these measures materialise into actual reopening.”
Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq eased 0.15% to 0.25% respectively , by 1000 GMT.
OIL AND DOLLAR
Inflation fears are being fanned further by oil prices which extended their rise into a fourth day, sending Brent crude futures above $117 a barrel .
“The market is stuck in the push-pull between the current deteriorating macro backdrop and the looming threat of a recession, pitted against the strongest fundamental oil market set-up in decades, maybe ever,” RBC Capital’s Mike Tran told clients.
The OPEC+ crude exporters group started a two-day meeting on Wednesday but big policy changes look unlikely, with United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei already indicating his country is pumping close to capacity. read more
Market jitters are driving a renewed bid for the dollar, lifting it to a one-week high against a basket of currencies.
The euro was flat against the greenback at $1.0514 while the yen at 136.43 per dollar slipped 0.2%, approaching last week’s 24-year low of 136.7.
Reporting by Sujata Rao in London and Sam Byford in Tokyo; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alex Richardson