London, United Kingdom — Stock markets moved in different directions Tuesday as oil’s push towards $100 fuels worries about persistently high inflation.
Brent North Sea crude oil traded above $95 per barrel Tuesday for the first time since November last year, supported by tight supplies and robust demand.
“When central banks are starting to see the light at the end of the inflation tunnel, $100-plus oil will be incredibly unwelcome and unhelpful,” noted Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA trading group.
The Federal Reserve is seen keeping interest rates on hold Wednesday but is expected to be cautious over the outlook as crude pushes higher.
The Bank of England and Bank of Japan also announce monetary policy decisions this week, along with peers in Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
“In a classic case of calm before the storm, investors have seemingly taken a wait-and-see mode ahead of the Fed, BoE and BoJ meetings,” said Rodrigo Catril at National Australia Bank.
In Asian trading, Hong Kong managed a gain while Shanghai was flat. In Europe, London and Paris were in the green while Frankfurt was lower.
Wall Street’s main indices opened lower at the start of trading, with rising bond yields and energy prices weighing on sentiment.
“Those moves have been deterrents for investors worried about their implications for growth and spending, which are interconnected,” said market analyst Patrick O’Hare at Briefing.com.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on Tuesday raised its global economic outlook for 2023 but cut the growth forecast for next year as “painful” interest-rate hikes aimed at curbing inflation take their toll.
The world economy is expected to grow 3.0 percent this year, up from the 2.7 percent forecast in the June outlook of the OECD.
Official data Tuesday showed eurozone inflation slowed slightly in August.
Consumer prices in the 20-country single currency area fell to 5.2 percent in August from 5.3 percent in July, according to Eurostat.
“The battle against inflation still hasn’t been won, and there will be fresh skirmishes ahead especially if recent disinflationary forces ease off,” said Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown.