More aggressive rate hikes loom as inflation hits 9.1%
(NewsNation) — Global stocks and Wall Street futures sank Thursday after higher U.S. inflation stoked expectations of more rate hikes that investors worry will chill economic growth.
Oil prices fell more than $1 to below $100 per barrel.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index declined after data Wednesday showed U.S. consumer inflation accelerated to 9.1% in June over a year earlier from May’s 8.6%. That was despite three rate hikes this year by the Federal Reserve.
Investors worry that aggressive action by the Fed and other central banks to cool inflation, which is at four-decade highs, might derail global growth.
“Growth fears are hitting the markets harder than inflation concerns,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a report.
The Federal Reserve and central banks in Britain, South Korea and some other countries have hiked rates to cool surging prices. The European Central Bank has similar plans.
Traders expect another Fed rate hike this month, probably matching last month’s 0.75 percentage point rise, the biggest in 28 years and three times the usual margin.
Fed officials say a recession is possible but not certain. They point to a strong U.S. job market despite higher borrowing costs.
“There are some very early signs that people are maybe anticipating a recession at the same time, though, that it’s creating this crunch where people have been spending a lot of money on groceries, the gas pump, and now they’re also having to deal with the fact that they’re probably going to be paying more interest on car loans, on credit card debt, on mortgages,” said NewsNation business contributor Lydia Moynihan.
Meanwhile, traders are looking ahead to the latest quarterly results from big U.S. companies in the next few weeks.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.26 to $95.04 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 46 cents to $96.30 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, retreated from $1.06 to $98.51 per barrel in London. It added 8 cents the previous session to $99.57 a barrel.
The dollar rose to 139.23 yen from Wednesday’s 137.32 yen. The euro declined to $1.0024 from $1.0062.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.