Global Equities Waver As US Data Raises Recession Fear
Investors across global stock markets were cautious on Wednesday, as US recession concerns and a significant interest-rate hike in New Zealand weighed on sentiment. While London’s stock market rose, Frankfurt and Paris both fell in subdued trading during a shortened week due to the holiday period. Following losses on Wall Street, Asian indices also drifted lower, as data revealed a softening in the US job market, pointing to a possible slowdown in the world’s largest economy. Although oil had surged earlier in the week after OPEC+ producers’ shock output cuts, it dipped later in the week. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand also increased its interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.25% to combat rising inflation, contrasting with the Australian central bank’s decision to hold.
The price of gold, considered a safe haven during economic uncertainty, rose to nearly $2,028 per ounce. Despite concerns about the banking sector, following the collapse of three regional US banks and Credit Suisse’s emergency buyout by Swiss rival UBS, JPMorgan Chase’s CEO warned that the banking crisis “is not yet over” and that inflation could linger at high levels.