Friday, 2 December, 2022

Stocks drop, dollar rises as inflation fears return

HONG KONG: Equities tumbled Thursday, tracking a sell-off on Wall Street, while the dollar jumped further as surging inflation, interest rate hikes and recession fears returned to the fore.

Traders in Europe were keeping tabs on Westminster a day after Prime Minister Liz Truss's government was plunged into a fresh crisis and facing collapse following the resignation of home secretary Suella Braverman, reports AFP.

That came days after the sacking of finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng and has left Truss's premiership on a knife-edge.

The positive start to the week, helped by forecast-beating earnings and a major UK government policy U-turn, gave way to the downbeat mood that has characterised markets all year as traders contemplated an extended period of uncertainty.

News that UK inflation bounced back above 10 percent in September highlighted the struggle central banks have in bringing prices down, despite lifting borrowing costs in recent months.

That followed a similarly glum reading out of New Zealand earlier in the week and helped push up government bond yields around the world, indicating higher interest rates.

The unease on trading floors, and concerns that prices are showing no sign of easing, also sent investors back into the safety of the dollar, adding more inflationary pressure outside the United States and dragging on stock markets.