Markets bounce as Middle East fears ease

Markets bounce as Middle East fears ease, US inflation in view

/ 05:28 PM April 22, 2024

HONG KONG, China — Asian markets rose Monday, clawing back some of last week’s losses, as Middle East worries subsided and traders looked ahead to the release of key US inflation data and corporate earnings.

With Iran downplaying a reported Israeli attack on the country, which came days after a drone and missile strike on Israel by Tehran, tensions between the regional foes appeared to have cooled.

While the situation remains tense, the lack of escalation over the weekend provided traders with an opportunity to pick up equities and helped push oil down.


The gains came despite a largely negative lead from Wall Street, where the Nasdaq shed more than 2 percent owing to hefty selling in tech giants including Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.


READ: Tumbling tech stocks drag Wall St to another losing week

Investors are now setting their sights on the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation, which is due on Friday.

U.S. consumer price index

The reading could play a major role in the central bank’s decision-making on interest rates and comes after a third successive month of above-forecast consumer price index figures.

The disappointing CPI data has dented hopes for a cut in June, and traders have scaled back their outlook for how many the Fed will make this year.

READ: US consumer inflation accelerated in March, dampening rate cut hopes

The PCE report is followed by the bank’s policy announcement next week, which will be pored over for clues about its next step.


Several officials have lined up to temper expectations for cuts, citing sticky inflation as well as a still-strong economy and labor market.

Chicago Fed boss Austan Goolsbee said last week that the battle against surging prices had stalled.

“Right now, it makes sense to wait and get more clarity before moving,” he said, warning that bringing inflation back to the bank’s two percent goal would likely take longer than initially thought.

Hong Kong led the gainers, jumping 1.8 percent, while Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Mumbai, Manila, Bangkok and Wellington also rose.

There were small losses in Shanghai, Jakarta, and Taipei, however.

London, Paris, and Frankfurt all rose in the morning.

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Earnings from big-name firms including Google parent Alphabet, Tesla, and Microsoft are also in play this week, with investors hoping for strong reports to back up a recent surge in equities.

TAGS: Middle East, Stock Markets

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