European stocks posted a ninth consecutive session of gains as Wall Street stocks fell ahead of the conclusion of the two-day U.S. central bank policy meeting on Wednesday.
The blue-chip S&P 500 Index fell 0.2% at lunchtime in New York City, while the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1%.
Before the downturn in the overall market, US energy companies had followed the rise in oil prices. Brent crude, the global benchmark, climbed 1.2% to $ 74.89 per barrel, its highest level since April 2019, while US marker West Texas Intermediate rose 0.4% to 72 , $ 40 a barrel, a three-year high.
“As long as the global economy continues to do well, the market will continue to rise,” said Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management, referring to equities on both sides of the Atlantic which are approaching record highs.
The Stoxx Europe closed 0.2% higher for another all-time high – the ninth session of consecutive increases in the benchmark regionally.
Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax rose 0.1%, while the Paris CAC 40 and London’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.2%.
The pound sterling strengthened against the dollar, climbing 0.2% to $ 1.4105, after UK inflation in May rose 2.1% year-on-year, reflecting rising clothing costs and restaurants and exceeding the Bank of England’s 2% target.
“This transient inflationary surge explained by many central bank chiefs risks becoming something more permanent or at least continuing to be the major concern of the markets,” said Charles Hepworth, chief investment officer at GAM Investments.
Central banks around the world are wondering how to react to rising inflation, although policymakers in Europe and the United States have maintained that price increases are transient effects of reopening economies.
The dot plot released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday will provide a snapshot of how high US central bankers expect inflation to rise this year and next.
“Key thing to watch out for at Wednesday’s press conference is recognition from Fed chairman [Jay] Powell that the discussion on the reduction is ongoing, ”said Danielle DiMartino Booth, CEO of Quill Intelligence,“ and that officials consider a timeline as to when they will communicate to markets that the tapered train is due to leave the station ” .
In the United States, investors expect the Fed’s discussion of when to start cutting its monthly asset purchase program could begin as soon as Wednesday. The European Central Bank said last week it would stick to its bond buying plan.
Bonds remained stable on both sides of the Atlantic, with the 10-year US Treasury yield declining 0.01 percentage point to 1.49% and the equivalent German Bund sliding 0.03 percentage point to minus 0 , 25%.