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Markets

Stocks mostly up as inflation spike seen as temporary

  • Oil prices meanwhile rose as the IEA said crude demand was set to rise above pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year.
11 Jun 2021

LONDON: Stock markets mostly rose Friday after a record overnight lead from Wall Street as traders bought into Federal Reserve assurances that its stimulus measures would continue despite surging US inflation.

Keenly-awaited US inflation data for May came in at a forecast-busting five percent annually, well up from April and the highest in 13 years owing largely to a spike in energy costs and the low base of comparison with 2020.

There has been a growing concern that the blockbuster recovery in the global economy -- supported by stimulus, reopenings and vaccinations -- is sending inflation soaring, risking higher borrowing costs that could hamper economic recovery.

Britain's economy grew 2.3 percent in April alone as the UK government eased its lockdown, official data showed Friday, with finance minister Rishi Sunak cautiously welcoming the data as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads.

Oil prices meanwhile rose as the International Energy Agency said crude demand was set to rise above pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year.

Despite strong inflation, "it appears as though the market is so confident that the Fed will maintain its current policy stance", noted Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at ThinkMarkets.

European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday said it would be "too early and premature" to discuss tightening monetary policy, even as officials lifted their annual inflation outlook.

Still, there remains a debate about how long the high readings will last and when the Fed will consider it time to act.

Fidelity International's Salman Ahmed warned there were signs that high inflation could be more long-term.

"Both the magnitude of upside surprises and the duration of the current high inflation phase will matter when it comes to justifying" current policy of low interest rates and big stimulus, he said in a commentary.

Elsewhere, traders are keeping an eye on Friday's start to the G7 summit in Cornwall, southwest England.

On the summit's eve, leaders from the Group of Seven wealthy nations pledged to donate a billion vaccines for the world's poorest countries.

Key figures at 1045 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,133.11 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 percent at 15,632.66

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.7 percent at 6,592.06

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 4,117.74

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: FLAT at 28,948.73 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.4 percent at 28,842.13 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,589.75 (close)

New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 34,466.24 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2152 from $1.2176 at 2040 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.4156 from $1.4177

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.84 pence from 85.87 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 109.47 yen from 109.32 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.3 percent at $72.76 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.4 percent at $70.54 per barrel

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