Stocks, Europe Futures Climb Ahead of ECB Decision: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks and European equity futures rose on hopes the Federal Reserve may pause rate hikes and ahead of the European Central Bank’s rate decision.

(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks and European equity futures rose on hopes the Federal Reserve may pause rate hikes and ahead of the European Central Bank’s rate decision.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.3% and a regional benchmark snapped a two-day loss amid optimism following the US inflation report that was in line with estimates. Japanese shares, which advanced over 1%, received an extra boost after Economic Revitalization Minister Yoshitaka Shindo highlighted the need for strong economic measures.

Evidence is building that Europe is facing persistent cost pressures that have been made worse by soaring energy prices. Money markets are pricing in a two-thirds chance the ECB raises interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, a rapid shift from earlier this month where traders were firmly in the camp rates would be held steady. 

“It will be a close decision,” said Imre Speizer, a strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Auckland. “Inflation persistence is likely to feature in the ECB’s upgraded projections” with core prices more stubborn, he wrote in a note to clients. 

The greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers and Treasury yields ticked lower. The euro edged higher against the dollar and pound as traders awaited the ECB decision. Elsewhere, demand for Japanese 20-year bonds at auction was the strongest since May 2020, soothing concerns about a potential normalizing of monetary policy by the Bank of Japan. 

Stocks in Asia broadly climbed with Japan’s Nikkei 225 outperforming the region and equities in South Korea and Australia gained. US stock futures also rose. Hong Kong and mainland China shares swung between gains and losses as concerns remained in the property sector. Country Garden Holdings Co. fell as the deadline approaches for holders of a yuan bond to vote on the company’s repayment extension request. 

“Asia has some clear air to reclaim some of the week’s losses,” said Kyle Rodda, a senior analyst at in Melbourne. “US inflation offered up more questions than answers, but it’s a volatility event out of the way, so that’s supportive of risk assets at the margins – the proverbial can has been kicked down the road just a little.”

The S&P 500 was little changed on Wednesday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average underperformed. American Airlines Group Inc. led US stock losses after cutting its earnings outlook amid a jump in jet fuel prices. Most megacaps rose, with the chiefs of five of the 10 biggest US companies appearing at a closed-door Senate meeting to shape how artificial intelligence is regulated. Apple Inc. fell as China flagged security problems with iPhones.

In commodities, oil traded near the highest since November after the International Energy Agency added to warnings of a supply shortfall, while gold edged higher after losses in the last two sessions.

Key events this week:

  • Japan industrial production, Thursday
  • European Central Bank policy meeting and news conference by President Christine Lagarde, Thursday
  • US retail sales, PPI, business inventories, initial jobless claims, Thursday
  • China property prices, retail sales, industrial production, Friday
  • US industrial production, University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Empire Manufacturing index, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% as of 6:47 a.m. London time. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% on Wednesday
  • Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.4%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.4%
  • Japan’s Topix rose 1.2%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2%
  • The Shanghai Composite was little changed
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.3%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%
  • The euro rose 0.2% to $1.0750
  • The Japanese yen rose 0.2% to 147.13 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.2740 per dollar
  • The Australian dollar rose 0.3% to $0.6442
  • The British pound was little changed at $1.2500


  • Bitcoin fell 0.1% to $26,191.98
  • Ether rose 0.6% to $1,613.63


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 4.22%
  • Japan’s 10-year yield was unchanged at 0.705%
  • Australia’s 10-year yield declined four basis points to 4.11%


  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.6% to $89.08 a barrel
  • Spot gold was little changed

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

–With assistance from Tassia Sipahutar.

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