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Stock markets rally, as euro briefly surges

·3-min read

Stock markets rallied Monday, building on pre-weekend momentum as investors priced in the expectation of further interest rate hikes aimed at taming decades-high inflation.

The euro surged against main rivals, a day after German central bank chief Joachim Nagel signalled that the European Central Bank (ECB) would probably continue raising its key rate.

The European single currency rocketed more than 1.4 percent against the dollar and 1.6 percent versus the yen before trimming gains around midday.

The ECB raised the key rate by a historic 75 basis points last week, and markets expect a similar-sized hike at an October meeting.

London, Paris and Frankfurt stock markets were up about 1.5 percent nearing the half-way stage, with Tokyo closing with a gain of more than one percent thanks to a weaker yen.

Markets in Hong Kong, China and South Korea were closed for a public holiday.

Investors worldwide are awaiting key US inflation data for August, due Tuesday, with the consumer price index (CPI) expected to ease slightly to eight percent -- still well above the Fed's two-percent target.

Traders expect the Fed to impose another large rate hike next week, after two 75-basis-point increases already.

Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities, said he expected stocks to "continue to drift higher" ahead of Tuesday's CPI data.

The inflation print "may well see further improvement as petrol prices have continued to pull back", he said.

Oil prices gained one percent Monday but remain pressured by the possibility of global demand weakening as growth slows and China's harsh zero-Covid policy continues to sap economic activity.

- 'Soft landing' hopes -

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said she was hopeful the US economy could avoid a recession, but that the Fed would need to skilfully manage interest rates and also rely on "some good luck to achieve what we sometimes call a soft landing".

"My hope is we will achieve a soft landing, but Americans know it's essential to bring inflation down and, over the longer run, we can't have a strong labour market without inflation under control," she told CNN.

Yellen said that while the US economy's growth rate was slowing, the labour market remained "exceptionally strong", with almost two openings for every jobseeker.

- Key figures at around 1100 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.3 percent at 7,449.84 points

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.6 percent at 13,302.93

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.3 percent at 6,292.35

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.4 percent at 3,621.58

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 28,542.11 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: closed for public holiday

Shanghai - Composite: closed for public holiday

New York - Dow: UP 1.2 percent at 32,151.71 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0145 from $1.0046

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1683 from $1.1587

Euro/pound: FLAT at 86.84 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 142.62 yen from 142.56 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.1 percent at $93.86 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.0 percent at $87.66 per barrel