Overnight Market Wrap: 17 August 2022

Overnight Market Wrap: 17 August 2022

Key Points:

  • US futures waver as a boost to sentiment from US earnings ebbs
  • Fed minutes may test bets that hikes will slow as growth wanes

Stocks in Asia came off session highs on Wednesday, hampered by worries about a darkening economic outlook amid high inflation and tightening monetary policy.

MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific share index rose less than 0.5%, spanning a climb in Japan and a drop in China. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures fluctuated while European contracts edged higher. 

The US stock market had posted a small gain on Tuesday, helped by robust earnings from Walmart Inc. and Home Depot Inc. Company profits have encouraged an equity rebound from June lows but are at risk of weakening as monetary settings tighten to fight price pressures. 

Oil stabilized but was still in sight of a more than six-month low, underlining some of those concerns over the economic growth outlook. Treasury yields and the dollar were steady, while gold and Bitcoin wavered.

In New Zealand, the central bank raised borrowing costs by a half-point as expected and said it remains appropriate to continue tightening at pace to curb inflation. The local currency strengthened.

The latest US data were patchy. Home construction fell more than expected, while factory output increased in July for the first time in three months.

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