A woman holds a torch during a demonstration against rising energy prices and the increasing cost of living during a national demonstration in Brussels earlier this month
New York (AFP) – Global stocks closed mixed after another volatile week, with European bourses rising despite worrying inflation data and Wall Street’s continuing decline.
Eurozone consumer prices jumped by a record 10% in September, official data showed, hitting double digits amid soaring energy prices due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Annual inflation in the 19-nation single currency area is at its highest level since records began, due to a staggering 40.8 percent rise in energy prices.
However, markets in Paris and Frankfurt ended the day with gains of over 1%, pushing higher after recent losses.
Stocks in London also ended the day slightly higher as the British pound rose again after the Bank of England’s surprise intervention in the bond market on Wednesday after the pound fell to an all-time low against the dollar.
“The pound has been all over the place this week,” said Fouad Razakzadeh, analyst at City Index and Forex.com. “For traders, sterling is a confusing arena at the moment.”
A poll on Friday showed that 51 per cent of people think new British Prime Minister Liz Truss should resign after she advocated a massive tax cut in a bid to boost an economy that drew an unusual public rebuke from the International Monetary Fund.
The controversial economic package, which will significantly increase government borrowing, also unusually lacks accompanying cost analysis forecasts from the country’s financial watchdog, the Office of Budget Responsibility.
Back in New York, the major indicators once again ended decisively lower to conclude another difficult week defined by concerns about inflation and the worsening Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Meanwhile, a closely watched US inflation gauge released on Friday showed that the annual pace of price increases slowed slightly in August from the previous month.
However, the rate of inflation still exceeded analysts’ expectations, a dynamic that is likely to keep the Federal Reserve on its current path of aggressively raising interest rates. The yield on US 10-year Treasuries, a proxy for interest rates, rose to nearly four percent.
In Asia, Shanghai slipped as data showed that China’s manufacturing and service sectors suffered again in September from the Covid shutdown in parts of the country that hit the world’s No. 2 economy.
There was also little reaction to the news that Beijing would allow some cities to lower mortgage rates for first home purchases while trying to support the property market.
Market sentiment continues to be eroded by growing concerns about developments in the Ukraine war, as Russia annexed four occupied territories from its neighbor on Friday, as President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend territory.
– Key numbers around 2050 GMT –
New York – Dow: down 1.7 percent at 28725.51 (close)
New York – Standard & Poor’s 500: down 1.5 percent at 3,585.62 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: down 1.5 percent at 10575.62 (close)
London – FTSE 100: up 0.2 per cent at 6893.81 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX: up 1.2 per cent at 12114.36 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: up 1.5 percent to 5762.34 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: up 1.2% at 3318.20 (close)
TOKYO – Nikkei 225: down 1.8 percent at 25,937.21 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: rose 0.3 percent to 17,222.83 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: down 0.6% at 3,024.39 (close)
Pound/dollar: rose at $1.1156 from $1.1117 on Thursday
EUR/USD: down at $0.9802 from $0.9816
EUR/GBP: DOWN at 87.82 pence from 88.29 pence
Dollar / yen: rose to 144.80 yen from 144.46 yen
Brent North Sea crude: down 0.6% at $87.96 a barrel
West Texas Intermediate: down 2.1% at $79.49 a barrel