Global stocks mixed after Fed declared ready to act on inflation

Global stocks mixed after Fed declared ready to act on inflation

Fed officials at their October policy meeting said they “would not hesitate” to respond to inflation, according to notes released Wednesday. They foresaw the possibility of raising rates “sooner than participants currently anticipated.” That fueled investor fears the Fed and other central banks might feel pressure to withdraw economic stimulus that has been boosting stock prices. Fed officials earlier indicated they might raise rates late next year.

London, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Hong Kong markets advanced, while Shanghai declined. Wall Street futures were higher. U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. They reopen Friday for a shortened trading session. Higher prices combined with stronger U.S. hiring suggest the attitude at the next Fed meeting might be “unabashedly more hawkish,” said Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE in London rose less than 0.1% to 7,289.90 and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 0.3% to 15,927.78. The CAC 40 in Paris added 0.3% to 7,063.84. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.3%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,584.18 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.7% to 29,499.28. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.2% to 24,740.16. The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.5% to 2,980.27 after the Korean central bank raised its policy interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 1% in line with expectations. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.1% to 7,407.30 and India’s Sensex gained 0.8% to 58,811.46. New Zealand and Jakarta advanced while Singapore and Bangkok declined.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced 0.2%. Gains in technology, real estate and energy stocks outweighed a slide in banks and materials companies. The Dow slipped less than 0.1% while the Nasdaq composite gained 0.4%. The Fed notes showed officials still believe this year’s inflation spike is likely to be temporary but acknowledged prices rose more than expected.

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