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Morning Bid: Markets ponders rate path, shares listless

Published 05/17/2024, 12:32 AM
Updated 05/17/2024, 12:36 AM
© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 8, 2024. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

The cold harsh reality of the Federal Reserve likely keeping interest rates higher for longer to combat inflation has put a lid on the post-U.S. CPI exuberance, with the listless mood set to continue at European bourses.

The final euro zone inflation reading for April headlines economic data on Friday and traders will hope the report will cement what has been known for a while: A rate cut from the European Central Bank (ECB) is on the way in June.

But what comes after that is less clear.

ECB board member Isabel Schnabel said the central bank may lower rates in June, but should be cautious about further cuts in borrowing costs given uncertainty over the outlook, Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported.

Traders have priced in 70 basis points of ECB cuts this year - a lot more than the 46 bps of easing priced in for the Fed.

Data this week showed a cooling U.S. consumer price index (CPI), prompting market participants to swiftly price in at least two rate cuts this year. However, Fed officials saying rates may need to stay higher for longer and a report showing a tight labour market have led to another shift in expectations.

Markets are now fully pricing in one cut in November, with 68% chance of a cut in September - so we are roughly back where we were before the CPI data in terms of U.S. rate expectations.

Across the pond, the pan-European STOXX 600 will aim to get back on track after snapping a nine-day winning streak on Thursday. The index is poised for a second week of gain.

The euro will also aim to close out its strongest week against the U.S. dollar in two-and-half months and the euro zone inflation reading might give it a lift.

In company news, market focus will be on HSBC after Bloomberg reported the lender's largest shareholder, Ping An Insurance Group of China, is considering options to reduce its 8% stake.

The insurer has been offloading shares in the London-headquartered banking group.

Elsewhere, a positive forecast from retail bellwether Walmart (NYSE:WMT) on Thursday signalled a resilient U.S. shopper.

© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 8, 2024. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

Key developments that could influence markets on Friday:

Economic events: Euro zone April inflation data

(By Ankur Banerjee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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