US consumer sentiment rose in early August to a three-month high on firmer expectations about the economy and personal finances. Inflation expectations were mixed, with consumers boosting their longer-term views for prices slightly, while reducing their year-ahead outlook for costs.
The inflation slowdown in July is welcome news and may mean it’s appropriate for the US central bank to slow its interest-rate increases to 50 basis points at its September meeting, but the fight against fast price growth is far from over, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly told Bloomberg Television.
“The macroeconomic environment may be starting to improve a little bit, with a peak in US CPI calling into question the need to hike rates aggressively,” economists at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg said. “Inflation is still high and the Fed will still need to increase rates, but the situation is not as bad as many had feared.”
Bank of America Corp. says investors are rushing back into stocks and bonds, with signs that inflation has peaked spurring bets the Fed will dial back its rate hikes soon. Global equity funds pulled in $7.1 billion in the week through Aug. 10, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote, citing EPFR Global data. Bond funds saw inflows of $11.7 billion, while $4.3 billion was pulled out of cash.
Oil fell on Friday, but was still on course for a weekly gain as traders weighed the prospects of higher demand this winter against the potential for extra supply from Iran.
Some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 rose 1% as of 12:26 p.m. New York time
- The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.4%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8%
- The MSCI World index rose 0.6%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%
- The euro fell 0.6% to $1.0255
- The British pound fell 0.6% to $1.2131
- The Japanese yen fell 0.4% to 133.53 per dollar
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 2.86%
- Germany’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to 0.99%
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced five basis points to 2.11%
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2% to $92.44 a barrel
- Gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,813.10 an ounce
–With assistance from Sagarika Jaisinghani and Sunil Jagtiani.