The biggest market sell-off to date appeared to be ending on Tuesday as traders waited to see if the Federal Reserve chairman and several senior officials from the ECB and Bank of England later gave new clues about the direction of interest rates.
The Australian dollar had already soared after its central bank signaled it would continue to raise rates, while the yen soared following unusually strong Japanese wage data.
Europe got off to a mixed start, with the euro and pound slightly down and only the London FTSE advanced among the major stock indices, as BP (LON:BP) became the latest oil giant to post windfall profits.
However, there is plenty of room for this to change, as two of the ECB’s top policymakers, Isabel Schnabel and France’s François Villeroy de Galhau, will deliver speeches, as will two deputy governors of the Bank of England and its chief economist.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will follow at the Economic Club of Washington during the U.S. session, in addition to U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
Asian stocks had stabilized after like most global stock markets suffered heavy losses on Monday following strong U.S. jobs data last week, which bolstered the Federal Reserve’s idea of more rate hikes.
MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2%, although Australia’s S&P/ASX200 index was down nearly 0.5% after the Reserve Bank of Australia made its ninth straight rise and signaled further gains. The Australian interest rate now stands at 3.35%, its highest level in a decade.
Among major commodities, oil rose for a second straight session driven by optimism about China’s demand recovery, and after Monday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey shut down one of the region’s main oil export terminals.
The Brent crude It gained $1.74, or 2.15 percent, to $82.73 a barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate It added $1.70, or 2.29 percent, to $75.81 a barrel.
Despite recent swings in fixed income markets, the yield of the German 10-year bond It remained at the same level as a week ago, at 2.32%. Italy’s 10-year yield was up about 5 basis points on the day at 4.198%, leaving the gap between the two at 187 basis points.