Global Stocks Mostly Fall On Lingering Worries Over Inflation

Global markets mainly fell Wednesday after British inflation data dashed hopes for a rapid Bank of England rate drop, while Federal Reserve minutes raised concerns about ongoing price pressure.

London equities closed lower, as the pound climbed on news that Britain’s Consumer Prices Index increased by 2.3 percent in April, slower than the previous month but exceeding analyst predictions of 2.1 percent.

“This was dismal news, and markets rapidly priced out the possibility of a June rate cut. David Morrison, senior analyst at Trade Nation, predicts September as the most likely month.

Following a decline on major Asian and European bourses, US equities drifted sideways for much of the day.

However, US indices fell after Fed minutes revealed that policymakers were unhappy with the slow progress toward the central bank’s two percent inflation target.

The poor inflation numbers, along with the robust economic results in the first quarter, prompted them to conclude that “it would take longer than previously anticipated” before they could be confident that inflation was slowing, according to the Fed.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said the fears were anticipated given the Fed’s stance at the May 1 meeting, but the release provided as an excuse for investors to sell following a strong advance since the meeting.

All three major US indices closed down, including the Nasdaq, which fell 0.2 percent after setting two records.

Anticipation was high heading into the day due of Nvidia’s accomplishments in the artificial intelligence space.

The chipmaker’s stock price is expected to rise by 90 percent by 2024, with its high-end processors valued by companies aiming to gain a competitive advantage in the expanding artificial intelligence sector.

In the most recent quarter, Nvidia recorded a profit of $14.9 billion on $26 billion in revenue, both of which were multiples of what it earned the previous year.

Shares rose 3.5 percent in after-hours trading.

Marks & Spencer, a food-to-clothing store, surged 3.7 percent after reporting excellent profits, but it was insufficient to lift London’s FTSE 100 Index.

Anglo American climbed 0.4 percent after the London-listed business rejected BHP’s second approach but left the door open for future discussions.

Target fell 8.0 percent after announcing a 3.7% reduction in comparable sales in the first quarter. The big-box retailer described the results as in line with expectations.

Moderna’s stock rose 13.7 percent after it announced that it had been approved to present presentations at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, which begins on May 31 in Chicago.

Copper prices fell for a second day as speculators profited on a rally that had sent it above $11,000 per ton.

 

Key figures around 2040 GMT

New York – Dow: DOWN 0.5 percent at 39,671.04 (close)

New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 5,307.01 (close)

New York – Nasdaq Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 16,801.54 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 8,370.33 points (close)

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.6 percent at 8,092.11 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX: DOWN 0.3 percent at 18,680.20 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 5,025.17 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.9 percent at 38,617.10 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.1 percent at 19,195.60 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: FLAT at 3,158.54 (close)

Dollar/yen: UP at 156.75 yen from 156.17 yen on Tuesday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0826 from $1.0854

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2717 from $1.2709

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.10 from 85.40 pence

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.4 percent at $77.57 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 1.2 percent at $81.90 per barrel

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