Global stocks pushed ahead on Monday with investors wagering markets can weather whatever comes from a host of central bank meetings this week, including the likely early end to U.S. policy stimulus.
European shares prepared to follow suit, with pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.33% in early deals. German DAX futures gained 0.29% and FTSE futures edged up 0.16%.
Omicron remained a concern with British Prime Minster Boris Johnson warning of a “tidal wave” of new cases of the variant, but again markets are counting on vaccines to limit the economic fallout.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to signal a faster tapering of asset buying this week, and thus an earlier start to rate hikes. It will also update the dot plots for rates over the next couple of years.
The market is already well ahead, with a rise to 0.25% fully priced in by May and rates of 0.75% by year end.
Also meeting are the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan and all are heading toward normalising policy at their own, often glacial, pace.
The market’s measured reaction to Friday’s U.S. inflation report suggests much is already priced in on policy, though with so many meetings there is the risk of a surprise or two.
“The outlook of global monetary policy in transition across multiple geographies at varying speeds is a recipe for volatility, and one could argue so are increased risks around the virus,” said John Briggs, global head of desk strategy at NatWest Markets.
“All the noise and cross-currents means volatility is the most likely outcome.”
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3%, after bouncing 1.7% last week.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.8%, as a survey of large manufacturers found sentiment was the best since late 2018.
Chinese stocks added 0.9% to last week’s 3.1% jump amid hopes for more stimulus after Beijing’s recent loosening of bank reserve requirements.
Wall Street also looked to extend its gains with Nasdaq futures and S&P 500 futures both up 0.3%.
The Treasury market has taken the risk of earlier Fed hikes with equanimity, perhaps in the belief that it will mean lower inflation over the long run and a lower peak for the cash rate.
Yields on 10-year notes did rise 12 basis points last week, but at 1.49% remain well below the high for the year at 1.776%. [US/]
The prospect of a more aggressive Fed has been supportive of the U.S. dollar, though it has flattened out in recent days.
The FTSE MIB climbed down by 0.36% to 26,721.20. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading down by 0.10% to 15,623.65. CAC 40 in France fell by 0.24% to 6,991.37 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. was down by 0.40% to 7,291.35 ,at the time of writing.