World stocks rise as investors eye interest rates

by Jonathan Adams
interest rates

Main indices across Europe jumped, while the S&P 500 stocks index ended at another record high

Stock markets were higher on Monday as investors looked ahead to a Fed meeting during this week for chances of higher interest rates.

Main indices across Europe jumped in early trading as Tokyo finished higher amid thin trading as other main markets in the region were closed due to holidays.

London investors ignored the announcement about the extension of lockdown restrictions in the country.

The S&P 500 stocks index on Wall Street ended at another record high, providing a healthy lead to the new trading week.

At its two-day meeting concluding Wednesday, the Fed is largely expected to maintain its current level of monetary assistance and is again expected to reiterate its view that the current inflationary spike is a passing phase, noted Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

Even so, there have more recently been suggestions that discussions on tapering relief are likely to be nearing the top of the agenda, even if this does not lead to imminent action, he said.

Markets seem to have accepted Fed insistence that the inflation spike in the US and elsewhere will be temporary and that its ultra-loose monetary policies will continue in the near future. Investors were worried that the bank will taper its bond-buying scheme earlier than first thought due to soaring prices.

Though, confidence among investors remains high amid vaccine rollouts, the easing of containment measures, government stimulus provide support, with observers forecasting a rally that began in April 2020 will continue into next year.

On Sunday, G7 leaders vowed to start delivering one billion doses of Covid vaccines to poorer countries. The pledge fell far short of the 11 billion doses that campaigners say are needed to end a pandemic that has claimed nearly four million lives and wrecked economies around the globe.

Looking ahead to the Fed meeting, Bank of Singapore chief economist Mansoor Mohi-uddin said the central bank is this week likely to start discussing when it will begin slowing its quantitative easing stimulus, given the US economy’s strong rebound from the pandemic.

But he expects it to wait until as late as December before announcing it will start tapering in early 2022 as it awaits a stronger jobs market and steadier inflation.

This article is for information purposes only.
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