Major global stock markets were mostly lower Thursday after notes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting confirmed expectations of more interest rate hikes but held no surprises to rattle investors.
London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney declined. Frankfurt and Shanghai gained. Oil prices rose.
Investors are uneasy over the impact of interest rate hikes in the United States and other Western economies to cool surging inflation. Wednesday’s Fed release showed board members support 0.5-percentage-point hikes at their next two meetings. That will weigh on economic activity but already was factored into stock prices.
There were no “hawkish or dovish surprises” or mentions of a bigger increase, Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a report.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP,
“With price pressures set to remain elevated in the near term, we expect the Bank to continue hiking in quick succession over the coming months,” Alex Holmes of Capital Economics said in a report.
Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 ended 0.7% lower at 7,105.90.
India’s Sensex gained 0.8% to 54,173.63. New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets rose.
Investors also are worried about the impact of Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine and an unexpectedly sharp Chinese economic slowdown.
They hope the Fed can cool inflation that is running at a four-decade high without tipping the biggest global economy into recession.
The Fed raised its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points at its May meeting in its most aggressive move in two decades. It indicated more hikes were to come.
The S&P 500 is coming off of a seven-week series of declines that came close to ending the bull market for stocks that began in March 2020.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude 70 cents
The dollar USDJPY,