European stocks waver on rate hike fear

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LONDON  — European stock markets wavered Tuesday, with investors fearful that runaway inflation will spark rising global borrowing costs.
Frankfurt and London indices edged higher, but Paris lapsed into negative territory.اضافة اعلان

Oil rose close to recent multi-year highs, as spiking gas prices persuaded many consumers to switch to crude.

Bitcoin, meanwhile, hit a peak of $62,961, less than $2,000 short of its April record, with a new security in the cryptocurrency due to begin trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Risk remains for a range of factors, including earnings, inflation and expectations central banks will tighten the screw,” said analyst Neil Wilson.

He added: “The Bank of England has put the cat among the pigeons with its hawkish talk, nudging markets to price in some hikes in the next year that just were not expected a few weeks ago.”

BoE governor Andrew Bailey warned Sunday that the bank might “have to act” to curb rising inflation, signaling its main interest rate might rise soon from its record-low 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere Tuesday, Asian bourses rose, extending a Wall Street rally as optimism over corporate earnings provided some respite from long-running worries about inflation, monetary tightening, and signs of a slowing economic recovery.

A string of forecast-beating profit reports from businesses over the past week has provided a much-needed boost to investors who have for most of the year been waiting nervously for finance chiefs to start winding in the vast cash support put in place at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The positive readings have partly eased concerns about the impact on companies’ bottom lines from surging inflation, a brewing energy crisis, and expectations that the era of cheap money will soon come to an end.

“Thus far we’ve seen companies post some fairly decent beats on the earnings front, and while it’s been notable that most have cited concerns about rising costs, as well as supply chain disruptions, we haven’t seen many significant profit downgrades yet,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

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