Stocks wobble as markets begin big week
AFP .
@New Vision

European and American stocks moved in mixed directions Monday as markets began a busy week, with the US Federal Reserve poised to lift interest rates again and some of the world's biggest companies scheduled to publish their latest earnings reports.

Asian markets ended lower.

The Fed is widely tipped to hike borrowing costs by 0.75 percentage points Wednesday as it battles soaring inflation.

US second-quarter gross domestic product data are due Thursday, with some observers warning it could show a second successive contraction -- which is considered a technical recession.

Investors are also awaiting an extremely heavy week of earnings reports featuring tech giants like Apple, and industrial behemoths such as Boeing and General Motors, along with McDonald's and other consumer-oriented names.

"Recent risk-on moves appear to be on thin ice as markets gear up for another bout of earnings and a crucial Fed rate decision," said market analyst Joshua Mahony at trading platform IG.

Wall Street had a mixed day with the Dow and S&P 500 advancing and the tech-rich Nasdaq retreating.

The pullback in Nasdaq reflects reticence ahead of an intense 72-hour stretch that will see releases from most of the biggest US companies, beginning Tuesday with Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft.

"Investors won't want to touch Nasdaq stocks until we hear from Alphabet tomorrow and if they don't like what they hear they may wait to see if Thursday's massive results from Apple and Amazon provide any reasons to be optimistic with tech stocks," said a note from Oanda's Edward Moya.

Despite the deluge of market-moving news on the calendar, European stocks had been trading higher across the board until an announcement by Russia's Gazprom that it was cutting back gas deliveries to Germany due to a faulty turbine, which pulled down the DAX index in Frankfurt.

It ended the day down 0.3 percent, while the CAC in Paris climbed 0.3 percent and London's FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent.

Consumer prices are soaring worldwide after economies reopened from pandemic lockdowns and as the war in Ukraine keeps energy prices elevated.

That, in turn, has sparked aggressive rate hikes from major central banks to try and dampen inflationary pressures.

"We still see further downside for risky assets as recession fears accumulate and central banks remain committed to fighting inflation at the expense of growth," said Standard Chartered strategist Eric Robertsen.

- Key figures at around 2120 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 31,990.04 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.1 percent at 3,966.84 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.4 percent at 11,782.67 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,306.30 (close) 

Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.3 percent at 13,210.32 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 6,237.55 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,604.16 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 27,699.25 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.2 percent at 20,562.94 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,250.39 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0223 from $1.0213 Friday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2046 from $1.1999 

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.83 pence from 85.09 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 136.65 yen from 136.12 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.9 percent at $105.15 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.1 percent at $96.70 per barrel

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