Berliner Tageblatt - Stocks diverge before key US inflation data

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Stocks diverge before key US inflation data
Stocks diverge before key US inflation data / Photo: © AFP

Stocks diverge before key US inflation data

Equities mostly rose in Europe but fell in Asia Thursday, before US inflation data that could determine the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

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Frankfurt and Paris stocks indices advanced as traders shrugged off earlier losses in Asia and overnight on Wall Street.

London however flatlined one day before the end of the Bank of England's emergency bond-purchasing drive aimed at calming markets turmoil sparked by Britain's recent debt-fuelled budget.

In foreign exchange, the dollar hit a 24-year high near 147 yen on expectations of more Fed tightening.

The US will publish its all-important consumer price index (CPI) inflation data at 1230 GMT.

"Markets are quiet, reminiscent of a scene in an old western before a gunfight," said Societe Generale analyst Kit Juckes.

"It's not often that an economic data release has as much power over sentiment as this afternoon's US CPI release."

Minutes from the Fed's latest policy meeting have shown officials determined to win their battle against runaway prices by further ramping up borrowing costs, despite worries it could result in the world's biggest economy falling into recession.

The minutes Wednesday "did nothing at all to diminish the sense that the Fed will want to see very clear evidence of inflation peaking before they stop raising rates", added Juckes.

Elsewhere, the UK government's 30-year bond yield eased to 4.63 percent and the 10-year fell to 4.31 percent.

The ten-year yield on Wednesday struck 4.64 percent, the highest since the 2008 global financial crisis and higher than the level that prompted the BoE's recent bond market intervention.

Sterling continued to climb on expectations that the Bank of England would unveil its own huge rate hike next month in a bid to bring down sky-high British inflation.

Oil prices edged higher having fallen in recent sessions on sliding demand prospects as the global economy falters.

- Key figures around 1100 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: FLAT at 6,828.07 points

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.9 percent at 12,278.37

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 5,837.77

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,340.69

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 26,237.42 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.9 percent at 16,389.11 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,016.36 (close)

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 29,210.85 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1154 from $1.1100 Wednesday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 146.80 yen from 146.91 yen

Euro/dollar: UP at $0.9725 from $0.9703

Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.19 pence from 87.41 pence

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 percent at $92.55 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.3 percent at $87.54 per barrel

K.Brown--BTB