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European Stocks Fall Before BOE; US Futures Bounce: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — European stocks fell as investors awaited key rates decisions across the region. US equity futures climbed, signaling a recovery following a tumultuous day of losses on Wall Street Wednesday.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.5% before policy announcements from the Bank of England and its counterparts in Switzerland and Norway. Banking stocks were among the biggest decliners, following weakness in their US peers. Contracts on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 advanced at least 0.7%. An index of Asian shares rose more than 1% as gauges in Hong Kong and mainland China rallied.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers that the government wasn’t considering “blanket” deposit insurance to stabilize the banking system, sending stocks in the sector rapidly lower. At around the same time, following the Federal Reserve’s expected 25-basis-point hike, Chair Jerome Powell was pushing back against bets for rate cuts this year and said he was prepared to keep raising borrowing costs until inflation showed signs of cooling.

Weakness in the dollar extended to a sixth day, the longest losing streak since April 2021, with the greenback lower against all of its Group-of-10 currency counterparts. Yields on policy-sensitive two-year Treasuries steadied after a plunge of 23 basis points on Wednesday. German and UK government bonds rose.

While markets are in a “higher volatility regime” these days amid uncertainly over the outlook for rates and economic growth, a degree of moderation is possible Thursday, according to John Bromhead, a strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. “I suspect now the major risk event is out of the way, risk-tone can improve through the day,” he said.

The swap market shows investors are split on the chances that Fed officials will add another 25 basis points to their benchmark in May. Despite Powell’s guidance, expectations for cuts have deepened, with the market suggesting that the effective fed funds rate will drop to around 4.1% in December.

“I would not expect the market to take these rate cuts out in the near term and could very well price in more cuts if the data deteriorates from here,” Matthew Hornbach, global head of macro strategy at Morgan Stanley, told Bloomberg Television.

Powell himself, though, said in response to questioning that officials “just don’t” see cuts this year and that they will raise higher than expected if that is needed. “Rate cuts are not in our base case,” he said.

Elsewhere in markets, oil fell as investors weighed the developments at the Fed and digested a mixed snapshot of US supply and demand. Gold and Bitcoin rose.

Separately, investors were on tenterhooks awaiting another report from Hindenburg Research, the US short seller that targeted Gautam Adani’s group earlier this year. There were no details on the subject of the new report.

Key events this week:

  • Eurozone consumer confidence, Thursday

  • BOE interest rate decision, Thursday

  • Swiss National Bank rate decision and press conference, Thursday

  • US new home sales, initial jobless claims, Thursday

  • US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies to a House Appropriations subcommittee, Thursday

  • Eurozone S&P Global Eurozone Manufacturing PMI, S&P Global Eurozone Services PMI, Friday

  • US durable goods, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:


  • The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.4% as of 8:18 a.m. London time

  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.7%

  • Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1%

  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.3%

  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1.7%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4%

  • The euro rose 0.4% to $1.0904

  • The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 130.99 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan rose 0.6% to 6.8218 per dollar

  • The British pound rose 0.4% to $1.2312


  • Bitcoin rose 1.1% to $27,681.08

  • Ether rose 1% to $1,755.47


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced three basis points to 3.47%

  • Germany’s 10-year yield declined six basis points to 2.27%

  • Britain’s 10-year yield declined four basis points to 3.41%


  • Brent crude fell 0.6% to $76.23 a barrel

  • Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,977.14 an ounce

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

–With assistance from Matthew Burgess and Georgina Mckay.

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©2023 Bloomberg L.P.


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