Wall Street opens higher as inflation data boosts smaller rate-hike bets
Wall Street’s main indexes climbed on Tuesday after consumer prices in the world’s largest economy rose in line with expectations, bolstering bets of a smaller interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its next meeting.
Data showed that U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in February versus 0.5% a month ago. On a yearly basis, it rose 6.0% last month, compared with 6.4% in the previous month.
Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI increased 0.5% after rising 0.4% in January. In the 12 months through February, the so-called core CPI gained 5.5% after advancing 5.6% in January.
Traders held on to bets of a 25-basis-point rate hike at the Fed’s next meeting in March, with odds of a pause in hikes slipping a bit to 17%.
Stocks have been hammered in the past few days following the collapse of SVB Financial Group (SIVB.O) and peer Signature Bank (SBNY.O) and on fears of risks to other banks from sharp interest rate hikes by the Fed.
Investors are hoping that the threat of a financial crisis will force the U.S central bank to ease up on monetary tightening.
“In light of the weekend’s events, I don’t think it could have been a more perfect number. It’s showing that inflation is trending the way that the Fed has kind of expected and wanted,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer, Bokeh Capital Partners, Pittsburgh.
“The Fed’s not going to be super aggressive and hurt banks more by raising interest rates.”
This report’s information was first seen on REUTERS; to read more, click this link.