Friday Close and Weekend Wrap: 19 August 2022

Friday Close and Weekend Wrap: 19 August 2022

Key Points:

  • Asia Stock Gauge Dips; Dollar Nears One-Month Higha Risks Sap Mood
  • Mixed Fed signals stir debate on whether hike-pace will slow
  • Dollar gauge up after spotlight falls on geopolitical risks

An Asian equity index fell on Friday amid mixed Federal Reserve policy signals on the likely pace of interest-rate hikes, while the dollar climbed as the spotlight fell again on geopolitical tension. MSCI Inc.’s

Asia-Pacific share index shed less than 0.5%. Moves across Japan, China and Hong Kong were fairly muted. S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and European futures slipped after Wall Street shares posted a small gain on Thursday.

A greenback gauge hovered around a one-month high. Treasury yields drifted higher. Oil, gold and Bitcoin dropped. Later Friday, a $2 trillion options expiration could stir volatility in global markets.

Elsewhere, Indonesia’s president also said the nation could impose a tax on nickel exports this year.

Investor sentiment has been boosted by expectations of slower monetary tightening on signs that high inflation is cooling. But hurdles remain for the 12% jump in world equities from June lows, not least the risk of entrenched global price pressures alongside economic slowdowns in the US and China.

Traders will pour over Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments at the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming next week. There is already speculation he may lean against a recent loosening in financial conditions that makes it harder to curb the cost of living.

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