European stocks climb despite Asian losses

Written by The Frontier Post

LONDON (AFP/APP): European stocks rose Monday to buck Asian losses as investors mulled the US interest rate outlook, while bitcoin sank on news of a Chinese crackdown.
London firmed 0.1 percent at midday after UK supermarket group Morrisons rejected a takeover approach.
Frankfurt gained 0.7 percent and Paris rose 0.2 percent in early afternoon eurozone deals.
“A cautiously positive start to the week… as investors attempt to put the volatility of last week behind them,” summarised IG analyst Chris Beauchamp.
“Rising instances of the Delta (Covid) variant in Europe will likely weigh on European markets — but the overall view continues to be that the second half of the year will see a further return to normality.”
However, Asian equities tumbled on growing expectations the US Federal Reserve will begin lifting interest rates as early as next year to prevent the economic recovery from overheating.
European indices dived about two percent on Friday, as traders digested the Fed’s pivot towards more restrictive policy.
In a bid to soothe traders fretting over surging inflation, central bank officials have for months pledged to maintain ultra-loose monetary policies until the rebound was well on track. But last week the Fed brought forward its forecasts for tightening.
The news was initially taken broadly in stride by investors as the Fed’s so-called “dot plot” outlook for rates suggested it would not begin hiking until 2023, and would discuss winding down its bond-buying programme later this year.
But investors were spooked by comments from St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard that liftoff could come as soon as late 2022.
That sparked hefty losses on Wall Street.
The selling continued Monday in Asia, with Tokyo posting a drop of more than three percent.
Meanwhile, bitcoin slumped more than 10 percent at one point after China intensified a crackdown on trading and mining operations.
The world’s most popular digital currency later stood down 7.1 percent at $32,969.
Beijing has pulled the plug on the massive bitcoin mines of Sichuan province, in a regulatory assault on the digital currency that has rattled the market.
Chinese authorities now have the financial system increasingly in their sights.
In commodities, oil prices extended Friday’s gains on growing optimism that the global recovery will ramp up demand.
The gains come after dollar-priced crude tumbled in the middle of last week as the prospect of rising interest rates pushed the US currency higher, making oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

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