NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street is upping its earnings early Wednesday as markets begin to gather hope that there may be better news on the horizon about inflation, the war in Ukraine, and other concerns that have shattered investors. The S&P 500 was up by 1.5% and the Nasdaq by 1.7%. Chinese markets soared overnight after Beijing pledged help to that country’s ailing real estate sector and its internet companies. The president of Ukraine has launched a direct appeal for help from US lawmakers in a speech. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates for the first time since 2018 later in the day.
THIS IS AN UPDATE OF LATEST NEWS. AP’s previous story follows below.
NEW YORK (AP) – US markets are poised to follow the rally in global equities Wednesday after Chinese leaders pledged more support for a slowing Chinese economy as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting.
Futures for Dow industrial stocks rose 1.2% and S&P 500 futures gained 1.3% after the Hong Kong benchmark rose 9% overnight.
Various factors contributed to the latest rally, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s comments suggesting there was still some reason to be optimistic that the negotiations could still lead to a deal with the Russian government.
Still, Russia stepped up bombing the Ukrainian capital and launched new assaults on the port city of Mariupol, making bloody field advances Wednesday as Zelenskyy prepared to make a direct appeal for further help in a rare speech by a foreign leader to the states. United Congress.
The French CAC 40 jumped 3.5%, while the German DAX gained 3.2% and the UK FTSE 100 gained 1.4%.
At its policy meeting later on Wednesday, the Fed is expected to raise its key short-term rate by 0.25 percentage points. This would be the first hike since 2018, taking it out of its all-time low of near zero and likely the start of a series of hikes.
The Fed is trying to slow the economy enough to quell the high inflation sweeping the country and avoid triggering a recession.
Inflation is already at its highest level in generations, and the most recent numbers do not include the rise in oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine. The move comes as central banks around the world are preparing to pull the plug on the support poured into the global economy after the pandemic.
“The allusion to ‘arranging deck chairs on the Titanic’ is not meant to invoke despair. Rather, it is intended to convey a sense of the inevitability of the Fed’s next tightening cycle, ”said Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.
The surge in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was the recovery from recent heavy sales by Chinese tech companies and other pressures that had pushed it to a six-year low.
At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, officials vowed to “reinvigorate the economy” with “support measures” for the ailing real estate sector and other steps, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
In a meeting led by Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s chief economic advisor, cabinet officials called on government agencies to enact other “market-friendly” policies, Xinhua said.
He also said that talks between Chinese and US regulators on resolving a dispute over the rules governing foreign companies listed on US markets have made progress.
The Hang Seng gained 9.1% to 20,087.50. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 3.5% to 3,170.71.
Shares of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding were up 23.6%. Tencent Holdings, operator of the popular WeChat messaging service, was up 23% and live streaming site Kuaishou Technology gained 31.4%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark rose 1.6% to finish at 25,762.01. Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 gained 1.1% to 7,175.20. South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.4% to 2,659.23.
Renewed COVID-19 concerns in some regions, plus a long list of other concerns, have caused wild swings by the hour in the markets in recent weeks. The war in Ukraine has significantly increased the prices of oil, wheat and other commodities produced by the region. This increases the threat that already high inflation will persist and combine with a potentially stagnant economy.
The benchmark US crude rose 49 cents to $ 96.93 a barrel in e-commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
A barrel of US crude oil fell 6.4% on Tuesday to stand at $ 96.44. It briefly surpassed $ 130 last week as concerns about supply disruptions due to the war in Ukraine were at a peak.
Brent crude, the international price standard, rose 11 cents to $ 100.02 a barrel.
In other developments, nickel trading was again halted Wednesday on the London Metal Exchange after trading resumed briefly after a week-long suspension as the price of the metal skyrocketed to over $ 100,000 per ton. The exchange said it is investigating a “system error” that led to some trades being executed below the lower price limit introduced to curb volatility.
Russia is the third largest producer of nickel in the world. Its price and that of many other commodities have risen due to speculation about possible supply disruptions as Russia faces increased economic sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.
In currency trading, the US dollar stood at 118.29 Japanese yen, slightly changed from 118.31 yen. The euro costs $ 1,1002, compared to $ 1.0955.
Starbucks shares were up more than 5% in pre-market trading after President and CEO Kevin Johnson said he will be retiring next month. Former CEO and company founder Howard Schultz will replace him on an interim basis.
Joe McDonald of AP Business Writer in Beijing contributed.