February 4, 2023

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European stocks rise as US index futures warn: markets are turning

(Bloomberg) — A gauge of global stocks has stalled after its best one-year start in a generation, as investors assess whether the rally has gone too far on inflation, growth and earnings expectations. European stocks rose.

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The MSCI ACWI was little changed after posting the biggest advance in the first two weeks in data dating back to 1988. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 fell by at least 0.2% each. The dollar snapped a three-day losing streak. The US spot markets were closed for a holiday. European stocks were boosted by gains in real estate companies.

While US inflation appears to have peaked, aggressive policy tightening by the Federal Reserve and other central banks risks tipping the global economy into a recession that could hurt corporate earnings. The World Bank last week added to the bleak outlook, warning of “one of the most severe slowdowns we have seen in the past five decades”.

Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst at Oanda Europe Ltd. , in a note: “It’s been a hectic start to the year, so investors may be taking the opportunity to catch a breath.” The question now is whether earnings season will reinforce this new sense of hope or spoil the party before it really gets started. A bad earnings season could dampen hopes of a soft landing that seems more possible now than it has for several months.”

Earnings will be a key catalyst this week as traders assess whether companies can weather headwinds including interest rate hikes. The crowded period will also be punctuated by corporate earnings, including Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley.

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Several Fed officials will speak this week, providing more clues about their policy priorities. The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting kicks off in Davos, Switzerland, with speakers including European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and Kristalina Georgieva of the International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, Japanese markets continued to be weighed on speculation of a shift in monetary policy, with the Topix index trading lower as a rebound in the yen weighed on exporters.

Investors are on the lookout for another surprise from the Bank of Japan when it sets policy on Wednesday. The yen strengthened to levels last seen in May and pushed the 10-year Japanese bond yield above the BoJ’s ceiling for a second day.

Bitcoin fluctuated between gains and losses on Monday, after bouncing back over the weekend, when it surged on optimism that it may have hit a bottom.

Elsewhere in the markets, iron ore fell after China vowed to tighten price controls following the metal’s rally in recent months. Oil and gold fell.

Main events this week:

  • Earnings set this week include: Charles Schwab, Discover Financial, Goldman Sachs, HDFC Bank, Interactive Brokers, Investor AB, Morgan Stanley, Netflix, Procter & Gamble, Prologis, State Street

  • The World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos on Monday

  • US markets are closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday

  • China Retail Sales, Industrial Production, GDP, Tuesday

  • US Empire State Manufacturing Survey, Tuesday

  • John Williams of the Fed will speak on Tuesday

  • Eurozone CPI, Wednesday

  • US Retail Sales, Producer Price Index, Industrial Production, Business Inventories, Business Administration Mortgage Applications, Cross Border Investing, Wednesday

  • Bank of Japan interest rate decision, Wednesday

  • The Federal Reserve releases the Beige Book, Wednesday

  • The Fed speakers are Raphael Bostick, Lori Logan and Patrick Harker, Wed

  • US Housing Starts, Initial Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Index Thursday

  • European Central Bank report on its December policy meeting and President Christine Lagarde at a panel in Davos, Thursday

  • Among the Fed’s speakers are Susan Collins and John Williams, Thursday

  • Japanese CPI, Friday

  • The main interest rates on Chinese loans, Friday

  • US existing home sales, Friday

  • Kristalina Georgieva of the International Monetary Fund and Lagarde of the European Central Bank speak in Davos on Friday

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Some of the major movements in the markets:

Stores

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index is up 0.5% as of 4:51pm London time.

  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.3%.

  • S&P 500 futures fell 0.2%

  • Futures contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average changed little

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3%.

  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has changed slightly

currencies

  • The Bloomberg Spot Dollar Index rose 0.2%.

  • The euro was little changed at $1.0826

  • The Japanese yen fell 0.6 percent to 128.59 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan fell 0.5 percent to 6.7444 per dollar

  • The British pound fell 0.2 percent to $1.2206

Digital currencies

  • Bitcoin changed little at $20,926.93

  • Ether fell 0.4% to $1,547

bonds

goods

  • Brent crude fell 1.2 percent to $84.26 a barrel

  • Spot gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,914.59 an ounce

This story was produced with help from Bloomberg Automation.

— With assistance from Tasya Sipahutar and Richard Henderson.

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