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Federal Asian Stocks Rise Despite Conflicting Signs

A cautious optimism permeated trading floors on Friday as investors tried to judge the prospects for Federal Reserve (Fed) monetary policy. This came after numerous officials attempted to dampen exuberance over evidence that inflation is moderating. Asian markets inched up slightly.

Despite the fact that US consumer and wholesale price statistics came in lower than expected, the week was generally encouraging for equity markets. A robust report on retail sales and jobless claims showed plenty of resilience to higher interest rates.

In light of this, James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issued a warning that additional rate increases were necessary to bring inflation down from four-decade highs, adding that these increases might need to reach as high as 7 percent.


After that, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kaskari, stated that he had not seen much evidence that underlying demand was dropping and that he did not want to anticipate when the tightening would finish.

The statements were made in response to a similar message that was sent out by other policymakers, who were attempting to calm markets that had jumped as a result of the consumer prices report that was released the previous Thursday.

In addition, they stoked fears among traders that the rapid tightening campaign — which included four consecutive blockbuster 0.75-point rises in a run — may push the world’s top economy into recession.

Esther George, the chief of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, stated on Wednesday that it was uncertain how the central bank could stifle inflation “without having some genuine slowing” or perhaps a contraction.

The three primary indices on Wall Street all finished in the red.

Still, Hong Kong led gains across much of Asia, thanks to a rally in technology firms and after China indicated it will ease back on some of its stringent Covid restrictions and help the struggling property sector. Both of these developments contributed to Hong Kong’s position as the leader in the region.

While Shanghai and Singapore saw their prices fall, Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Wellington, Taipei, Manila, and Jakarta all saw price increases.

‘Fundamental disconnect’

Even though most of Asia saw gains, there was concern that the most recent upswing might have gotten a bit too far ahead of itself.

The market generally agrees that inflation is moving in a downward direction. Paul Christopher, who works at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, shared this opinion with Bloomberg Radio. “We also believe that, but the fact that inflation has peaked is not a cause for the Fed to turn around and decrease rates,” Christopher said.

That sums up the underlying gulf that remains between the Federal Reserve and the market.

Stephen Innes, an analyst at SPI Asset Management, provided the following commentary: “Things may flip on a dime, particularly when the fear of missing [out] drives sentiment.”

The likelihood of a pre-Thanksgiving rise is, however, decreasing as a result of the hawkish Fed drumbeat and the pushback on China reopening plays.

The value of the pound has recovered some of the ground it lost on Thursday after the United Kingdom unveiled a budget that included tax increases and spending cuts totaling 65 billion dollars and 55 billion pounds respectively. Traders are concerned that these measures will exacerbate an already severe crisis in the cost of living and lead to a recession that could last for two years.

Figures pertinent approximately 02:30 GMT

      • Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 27,978.06 (break)
      • Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 1.2 percent at 18,266.41
      • At 3,110.06, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2 percent.
      • Up from Thursday’s close of $1.1867 per pound to today’s $1.1892 per dollar
      • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0367 from $1.0370
      • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 139.91 yen from 140.20 yen
      • Euro to Pound Exchange Rate DOWN to 87.18 Pence from 87.34 Pence
      • The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate rose by 1.1 percent, reaching $82.57.
      • The price per barrel of Brent crude from the North Sea rose by 0.9 percent to $90.57.
      • The Dow is currently UNCHANGED at 33,546.32 points in New York (close)
      • Down 0.1 percent to 7,346.54 on the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 100 (close).

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