Market Headlines – 28/2/2018

US

  • US. stocks sold off for the first time in three sessions and Treasuries slumped as investors weighed the potential for added interest rate hikes this year following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s assessment that the economy is strengthening and inflation could be gaining speed.
  • Powell’s testimony raised the possibility that the Fed could rethink its plan for three interest rate hikes this year and potentially add a fourth. The 10-year Treasury yield initially spiked on Powell’s seemingly hawkish tone before drifting back below 2.9%.
  • The pace of U.S. monetary policy tightening remains a hot debate on Wall Street, and traders have been betting that Powell won’t seek to shock financial markets by moving toward a more hawkish monetary policy.
  • Fed Governor Randal Quarles made clear on Monday that he thought a sustained period of strong growth might require higher interest rates.

 

Europe

  • European stocks ended a two-day streak of gains as losses in real estate companies offset gains in media firms.
  • Europe’s benchmark has recovered less than half the losses from a selloff that began late January, lagging the rebound in the U.S.

 

Asia

Asian shares dropped for a second day, with energy and material companies leading declines, after Treasuries and U.S. equities fell.

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