Wall Street was headed for another day of losses Friday morning after fresh rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other central banks stoked fears of a possible global recession and pushed oil prices to their lowest level since early 2022.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 1.1%, while S&P 500 futures fell 1.2%. Barring sharp swings, major U.S. indexes are poised to end the week with losses for the fourth time in five weeks.
Oil prices fell 3%, threatening to dip below $80 a barrel for the first time since early January.
Central banks Britain, Switzerland, Turkey and the Philippines all raised interest rates after the Fed raised its key rate on Wednesday for the fifth time this year and signaled further hikes are on the way.
“Global equities are struggling as the world expects rising rates to trigger a major global recession much sooner,” Oanda’s Edward Moya said in a report.
Britain’s new government on Friday announced a sweeping tax cut plan it said would be financed by borrowing and revenue generated by expected growth, sending the pound below $1.12 for the first time since 1985.
Economists are concerned that the government’s policies will lead to a sharp rise in borrowing, undermining confidence in the British economy.
Also on Friday, Vietnam’s central bank raised its key lending rate by as much as 1 percentage point, which surprised forecasts. The State Bank of Vietnam appears to be trying to cool inflation while preventing capital outflows in search of higher interest rates abroad.
Investors worry that central banks may be willing to put up with a painful economic downturn to get prices under control.
Some point to signs of a cooling US economy as support for the Fed to abandon plans for further rate hikes. But Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday rates will remain elevated for a long time if necessary, return inflation to the 2% target.
US consumer inflation eased to 8.3% in August from a peak of 9.1% the previous month. But core inflation, which excludes changing food and energy prices to give a clearer picture of the trend, rose to 0.6% from the previous month, compared with a 0.3% rise in July. This suggests that upward pressure on prices is still strong.
The Fed raised the key rate on Wednesday, which affects many consumer and business loans, ranging from 3% to 3.25%. It released a forecast showing the base rate is expected to be 4.4% by the end of the year, a full point higher than expected in June.
At midday in Europe, the FTSE 100 in London was down 2.1%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 2.5% and the CAC 40 in Paris was down 2.2%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7% to 3,088.36, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.1% to 17,953.50. The Kospi in Seoul fell 1.8% to 2,290.00.
Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 1.9% to 6,574.70, while India’s Sensex retreated 1.5% to 58,231.49. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.
In the energy markets, benchmark US crude oil fell by $2.75 to $80.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 55 cents to $83.49 on Thursday. Brent oil, which is used to measure international oil prices, fell $2.63 to $86.90 a barrel in London. It rose 63 cents in the previous session to $90.46.
The dollar rose to 142.88 yen from 142.49 yen on Thursday. The euro fell to 97.60 cents from 98.31 cents.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 lost 0.8%, the Dow fell 0.4% and the Nasdaq composite fell 1.4%.
McDonald reported from Beijing; This was reported from Washington Ot.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, copied or distributed without permission.