Global Stocks Gain Ground; Crypto Steadies


International stocks broadly rose in the absence of fresh news about inflation and interest rates, while U.S. markets were closed for the Juneteenth public holiday.

Stocks and bonds have been pummeled globally this year. Driving the selloff are the push by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to quell inflation, and concerns that higher borrowing costs will tip economies into recession.

This week, investors will parse comments from Fed Chairman

Jerome Powell

to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday. They will seek clues about the chances of a second consecutive three-quarter-point increase to interest rates in July. Data on housing, manufacturing output and consumer sentiment will help traders assess the strength of the economy, while inflation runs at its highest rate in more than 40 years.

U.S. stock and bond markets were shut for the first time Monday for the Juneteenth public holiday. The S&P 500 last week endured its biggest percentage decline since the Covid-19-driven crash of March 2020 after the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates by a three-quarter-point spooked investors. Futures for the benchmark index rose 0.8% Monday.

Cryptocurrencies steadied after volatile weekend trading. Bitcoin changed hands at $20,613.61, slightly higher than its Sunday 5 p.m. level. Digital currencies have slumped in recent weeks and major crypto currencies have laid off staff.

In commodities, natural-gas prices jumped 5.7% to €124.50, equivalent to around $131, a megawatt-hour in Europe. Russia has continued pumping gas at well below full capacity through Nord Stream to Germany.

Edward Park, chief investment officer at

Brooks Macdonald,

expects investors to edge back into stocks and other riskier assets this week, encouraged by a lack of data on U.S. inflation. He said stocks will remain choppy until energy markets begin to fall, easing the pressure on central banks to tame consumer-price gains.

Brent crude-oil futures rose 0.5% to $113.66 a barrel, steadying after a sharp drop in prices Friday. Concerns that a possible recession would weigh on oil demand led prices to snap a four-week streak of gains.

“It’s quite clear that the markets are getting more concerned about the risks,” said

Deutsche Bank

strategist

Jim Reid,

who thinks the U.S. will enter a recession in 2023.

South Korea’s Kospi index fell 2%, weighed down by Samsung Electronics.



Photo:

Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7% Monday. Gains for retail, auto and travel-and-leisure companies offset losses for construction and basic-resource stocks.

France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.3% after President Emmanuel Macron lost his majority in the National Assembly. The results of the parliamentary elections will make it difficult for the French leader to advance his pro-business agenda.

Among individual European stocks,

Renault

rose 6.6% after analysts at Jefferies raised their target price for the French carmaker.

Kingspan Group,

an Irish building and insulation materials producer, fell 13% after saying trading conditions had deteriorated over the past two months.

In Asia, South Korea’s Kospi fell 2%, weighed down by

Samsung Electronics,

which fell after analysts at DB Financial Investment cut the stock’s target price. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.7%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.4%.

Write to Joe Wallace at [email protected]

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