Global stocks higher…Wall Street futures lower
BEIJING (AP) – Global stocks are higher after the Federal Reserve chairman downplayed the likelihood of bigger interest rate hikes following the U.S. central bank’s biggest increase in two decades. London and Frankfurt opened higher on their first trading day since Fed chair Jerome Powell’s comments. Shanghai and Sydney advanced while Hong Kong ended lower. Markets in Japan and South Korea were closed for holidays. Wall Street futures were lower a day after the benchmark S&P 500 gained 3% for its biggest one-day increase in two years.
LONDON (AP) – Oil markets have been fluctuating over fears of lost supplies from Russia because of the war in Ukraine. But the alliance of OPEC members and allied oil-producing countries are likely to steer a steady course when they decide production levels at an online meeting today. The OPEC+ alliance has been opening the taps only gradually to restore cuts made during the worst of the pandemic recession. Expectations are for a decision to increase production by a gradual amount in June.
LONDON (AP) – The Bank of England is expected to raise its key interest rate today to the highest level in 13 years. It comes as policymakers around the world combat inflation fueled by high energy prices, Russia’s war in Ukraine and lingering concerns about COVID-19. Economists forecast that the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will raise the rate the Bank of England pays other banks by a quarter-percentage point, to 0.75%. The decision comes a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve approved the biggest rate increase in more than two decades.
WASHINGTON (AP) – When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates – as it did Wednesday – the impact doesn’t stop with U.S. homebuyers paying more for mortgages or Main Street business owners facing costlier bank loans. The fallout can roll beyond America’s borders, hitting shopkeepers in Sri Lanka, farmers in Mozambique and others in poorer countries around the world. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund was worried enough last month to warn the Fed and other rate-hiking central banks to stay “mindful of the spillover risks to vulnerable emerging and developing economies.”
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Official data show that inflation in Turkey has soared to nearly 70% in April, as skyrocketing prices eat away at earnings and put even basic necessities out of reach for many households. The Turkish Statistical Institute says consumer prices rose by 69.97% in April compared with the previous year. The annual inflation rate was up from 61.14% in March. Critics blame soaring inflation on the economic policies of Turkey’s president, who strongly opposes high borrowing costs, insisting that they cause inflation. It’s a position that contradicts established economic thinking.