Global stock markets slow ahead of Christmas

New York (awp/afp) – Global stock markets rose very modestly on Friday, welcoming a stronger-than-expected slowdown in US inflation without much fanfare as it confirmed the scenario investors already prefer.

European stock markets ended around the breakeven point before closing for the long Christmas weekend. The Paris Stock Exchange ended at 7,568.82 points (-0.03%), Frankfurt advanced by 0.11% and Milan by 0.26%. In Zurich, SMI gained 0.18%.

The London Stock Exchange closed at 12:30 GMT, as it did every last session before Christmas, gaining 0.04%.

European stock markets will not reopen until Wednesday, while the New York Stock Exchange will remain closed on Monday.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq gained 0.19%, the S&P 500 rose 0.17%, while the Dow Jones lost 0.05%.

Inflation in the United States fell sharply to 2.6% on the year in November, moving closer to the 2% target for the PCE index, the gauge preferred by the U.S. central bank.

And October’s downward revision showed that inflation had actually already fallen below 3.0% year-on-year to 2.9%.

Growth in the core index excluding energy and food is still above 3%, but slowed more than expected year-on-year to 3.2% from 3.4% in the previous month.

Consumer spending, household income and orders for durable goods rose, which also surprised analysts. This confirms the robustness of consumption in the United States, which is the main growth engine of the world’s largest economy.

“This news is the best economic news in a long time and it comes just in time for the holidays,” said Robert Frick, an economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.

This confirms the markets’ hopes for a soft landing in the economy, which would allow the US central bank to cut rates next year.

For Valentine Ainouze, strategist and head of global bond strategy at the Amundi Investment Institute, “the Fed’s mantra of higher interest rates is buried for a long time.”

However, the market’s reaction is very measured as it “was very much expected”, according to her.

For Ms. Ainouz, the current level of the markets corresponds to a situation of “a rapid return of inflation to 2%, without a recession” in the American economy.

In the bond market, interest rates on government loans remained relatively stable. At around 22:15 GMT, the 10-year US Treasury yield was at 3.89%, the same as the day before.

Nike stumbles ___

Nike announced a $2 billion savings plan Thursday night, as well as a downward revision to its annual revenue forecast. The sports giant saw an uneven sales performance last quarter, increasing in China but falling in the United States. The slowdown is expected to continue, which worries the retail industry.

The company’s stock fell 11.83% on Wall Street.

Prosus suffers from the fall of Tencent ___

Dutch technology investment fund Prosus (-13.38%) was penalized by Tencent’s plunge of more than 12% after China announced new restrictions on online games.

Oil is down slightly, Bitcoin is down ___

Oil prices ended slightly lower after faltering on Friday in a context still marred by tensions in the Red Sea.

The price of a barrel of Brent from the North Sea fell by 0.40% to $79.07.

Its US equivalent, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), lost 0.44% to $73.56.

On the foreign exchange market, the euro was steady against the dollar at $1.1012 per euro (+0.01%).

Bitcoin fell 0.56% to $43,759.

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