GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar gains, stocks teeter as US data suggests rates to stay higher

(Adds comment in paragraph 6-7, data updated as of 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT)


Wall Street mixed after strong claims report


European shares inch higher as miners rise


Wheat prices spike as Russia hits Ukraine ports


Turkey’s lira parked near record low ahead of rate decision

By Herbert Lash and Marc Jones

NEW YORK/LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – The dollar rose and a gauge of global equities slid on Thursday after data once again highlighted persistent U.S. labor market strength, suggesting the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for longer to curb inflation.

Fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said, though the unexpected decline was likely exaggerated by difficulties adjusting the data for seasonal patterns.

Claims are well below the 280,000 level that economists say would signal a significant slowdown in U.S. job growth given the relative size of the labor market.

The dollar index rose 0.54% against a basket of trading currencies, while futures expect the Fed’s overnight rate will rise to 5.42% in November and stay above 5% until May 2024.

By contrast the equity market, driven by tumbling headline inflation numbers, expects the Fed to end its rate-hiking campaign at a two-day policy meeting that concludes July 26.

“The structural view around inflation has to change. People are assuming that the Fed’s done enough,” said Colin Graham, head of multi-asset strategies at Robeco in London.

“The headline is coming down due to food and energy. The core PCE hasn’t changed and that’s the Fed’s preferred measure,” Graham said, referring to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index.

Core PCE is running at an annual rate of 4.6%-4.7% so far this year, more than double the Fed’s 2% target, while CPI year-over-year dipped below 3% in June.

The S&P 500 fell 0.32% and the Nasdaq Composite slid 1.22% on Wall Street as disappointing earnings from Netflix and Tesla weighed, while the Dow industrials rose 0.75%. MSCI’s U.S.-centric gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.33%.

In Europe, the pan-regional STOXX 600 index gained 0.43% as a jump in metals prices, and a 2.3% leap in wheat after Russia struck Ukraine’s ports, lifted mining and basic resource stocks more than 2%.

Earlier in Asia, equity and commodities markets had pockets of gains after China’s government pledged additional support for its economy. However, its tech stocks slid again on festering property concerns.

China’s yuan shot up after authorities tweaked cross-border financing rules and major state-owned banks were seen selling dollars. Turkey’s lira was stuck near a record low as its second interest rate hike since President Tayyip Erdogan secured a third decade in power in May lagged expectations.

“The need to tighten monetary policy to tame inflation and start to restore confidence in Turkish assets is recognized,” said Stuart Cole, chief macro economist, at Equiti Capital.

Investors are focused on the next moves by major economy central banks at meetings in Japan, Europe, the United States and Britain.

Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda said this week there was still some distance to sustainably and stably achieving the central bank’s 2% inflation target, dousing speculation of a change to its “yield curve control” policy next week.

Traders and analysts expect the European Central Bank to raise its benchmark rate by 25 basis points next week, but what follows has been up for debate in the wake of a recent dovish tone taken by the central bank’s policymakers.

Markets seem more certain of the Fed’s next steps, with equity traders expecting a 25 basis point hike next week but no more after that.


China stocks have been pressured in recent weeks by soft economic data, with investors waiting for meaningful stimulus to jump-start the country’s stuttering post-pandemic recovery.

Daleep Singh, chief global economist at PGIM Fixed Income, said China’s current recovery is unlike others as it relies on consumer-led growth following years of credit-fueled investment in property and infrastructure.

TD Securities analysts expect Beijing to announce a 4 trillion yuan ($560 billion) stimulus package at July’s Politburo meeting.

The Australian dollar jumped on strong domestic jobs data, before paring gains to 0.16% at $0.677.

(Additional reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Singapore; Editing by Sharon Singleton, John Stonestreet and Richard Chang)

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