U.S. equity-index futures gained on Wednesday along with stocks in Europe as traders assessed the latest news on the omicron variant and the Federal Reserve’s signals of stepped-up efforts to curb elevated inflation. Bonds declined.
Fresh concerns about the efficacy of existing vaccines against the omicron coronavirus strain pushed markets back into risk-off mode on Tuesday, with stocks in Europe dropping alongside U.S. equity futures. Bonds gained as investors sought havens.
Stocks rose along with U.S. equity futures Friday, bringing some relief for shares from the inflation fears still roiling Treasuries.
MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific gauge posted its biggest rise this week, helped by Japan’s bourse and China’s technology stocks. The view that the worst of Beijing’s regulatory blitz has passed salved sentiment. U.S. and European contracts climbed after the S&P 500 snapped a two-day fall.
The dollar trod water against major peers on Wednesday after weakening in the past three days, and traded near a one-month low to the yen, with investors awaiting U.S. inflation data for a clue to when the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates. The safe-haven yen also benefited from global stocks retreating from a record peak as rising oil prices stoked inflation worries.
The dollar was on course for a second straight week of gains against major peers on Friday, ahead of a key U.S. jobs report that could sway the timing of Federal Reserve interest rate increases. Sterling headed for its worst week in 11 after the Bank of England caught the market off-guard by keeping rates steady on Thursday.