(Bloomberg) — Most U.S. stock-index futures fell, with Treasury yields sliding, as investors assessed a growth slowdown in China and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s persistent dovishness despite a hawkish tilt across global central banks.
Contracts on the S&P 500 Index slid, while Nasdaq 100 Index futures posted modest gains. The 10-year U.S. rate dropped to 1.33% and the dollar weakened against haven currencies. Netflix Inc. jumped in premarket trading on plans to expand into video games. The British pound rose after a Bank of England policy maker said withdrawing stimulus may be appropriate soon.
China’s second-quarter growth slowed largely in line with expectations even as a pick-up in consumer spending suggested a more balanced recovery. In the U.S., Powell said it was still too soon to scale back monetary support even though inflation has risen faster than expected. With central banks from New Zealand to Canada and the U.K. turning hawkish, traders continue to debate how far the Fed can hold back on tapering.
”U.S. stock indexes are going from one record to the next, although there are visible and quite serious signals of noticeable weaker growth in the U.S. economy,” Norbert Frey, the head of asset management at Fuerst Fugger Privatbank, wrote in a message to Bloomberg. “If inflation doesn’t go back on its own, the Fed must act. Then the markets could get bumpy.”
The Fed’s potential time line for tapering $120 billion in monthly bond purchases, and the spread of the delta Covid-19 variant, are among key variables bothering investors with global stocks near all-time highs. Another concern is the possibility that recoveries in economic growth and corporate earnings are peaking.
Europe’s Stoxx 600 gauge dropped for a second day, dragged by energy shares. The benchmark for emerging-market equities, however, rose to a one-week high, aided by the technology sector on a report of possible cooperation between Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Netflix advanced 2.3% in early New York trading after it hired Facebook executive Mike Verdu to lead its expansion into video games.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index struggled for direction, with the pound, Swiss franc and yen posting the biggest gains among Group-of-10 peers against the greenback. West Texas Intermediate crude futures tumbled below $73 a barrel on expanding U.S. fuel inventories and a potential OPEC+ agreement to increase supply.
BOE’s monetary policy committee member Michael Saunders said that if economic activity and inflation remained in line with current trends, it may become appropriate “fairly soon” to withdraw some of the stimulus. The speech, released on the bank’s website, pushed gilts to erase gains.
For more market commentary, follow the MLIV blog.
Here are some events to watch this week:
Bank of Japan interest rate decision Friday
These are some of the main moves in financial markets:
Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 6:26 a.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 rose 0.2%Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changed
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changedThe euro was little changed at $1.1829The British pound rose 0.2% to $1.3890The Japanese yen was little changed at 109.95 per dollar
The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 1.33%Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to -0.33%Britain’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to 0.64%
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.1% to $72.33 a barrelGold futures were little changed
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