MARKETS

US Futures Rise; Traders on Edge Over War Impact: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Raging volatility continued to whipsaw global markets Friday, capping the final week before a new US rate-hike cycle, as a worsening war in Ukraine boosted inflation and threatened to sink global growth.

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Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes added 0.3% each, after swinging between gains and losses at least six times. Europe’s Stoxx 600 gauge was boosted by travel and financial companies. The dollar headed for the longest streak of weekly increases since November. DocuSign Inc. slumped in New York premarket trading after its revenue forecast missed analysts’ estimates.

Investors are tottering between panic selling and dip-buying of beaten-down assets as they brace for an anticipated rate increase by the Federal Reserve next week. While monetary tightening is a key risk by itself, it is compounded by the economic disruption wrought by the war in Ukraine and the consequent sanctions on Russia.

“Global markets seem set to end this week with a solid defensive bid,” said Simon Ballard, the chief economist at FAB Global Markets in Abu Dhabi. “Markets are also nervous ahead of what the Federal Open Market Committee might say. We see a not-insignificant risk of stagflation being triggered by a front-loaded, hawkish approach to monetary policy.”

Europe’s Stoxx 600 pink for only the second time this week, led by companies that benefit from price growth and central-bank tightening, such as commodity companies and banks. Travel companies posted some of the biggest rallies after data showed the UK economy grew faster than forecast in January.

Trading in Asia reflected overnight losses in the US market. An MSCI Inc. gauge of the region’s stocks capped its fourth consecutive weekly decline. A technology gauge in Hong Kong slumped more than 6% after the US identified five Chinese firms that could be delisted. Chinese stocks traded in the US had their worst day since 2008 Thursday amid renewed regulatory concerns.

Oil rebounded, but was still on track for its biggest weekly loss since November. US President Joe Biden is expected to call for an end to normal trade relations with Russia, clearing the way for increased tariffs on the country’s imports.

DocuSign plunged 18% in early New York trading after the electronic-signature company forecast revenue for the first quarter that fell short of the average analyst estimate.

The dollar rose Friday, capping its third week of gains. Bitcoin edged lower, trading just above $39,000 apiece.

Read: Volatility Traders Getting Less Impressed by Big S&P 500 Swoons

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Some of the main moves in markets:

Inventory

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 pink 0.7% as of 9:28 am London time

  • Futures on the S&P 500 pink 0.3%

  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100 pink 0.3%

  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.7%

  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 1.1%

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index pink 0.2%

  • The euro was little changed at $1.0980

  • The Japanese yen fell 0.7% to 116.97 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan fell 0.2% to 6.3377 per dollar

  • The British pound fell 0.1% to $1.3071

Leaps

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 1.98%

  • Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.26%

  • Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 1.52%

Commodities

  • Brent crude rose 1.8% to $111.28 a barrel

  • Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,991.74 an ounce

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