Global markets edge higher after best month since 2020

Vrasidas Neofytou
Head of Investment Research

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Global markets edge higher after best month since 2020
Global stock markets have started the new month with some minor gains, following the market’s best month since 2020, driven by the optimism over the solid corporate earnings for the second quarter of the year together with the less hawkish Federal given the slowing economic growth.

All U.S stock indices posted their best month of the year so far in July, hitting almost 2-month highs, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite soaring by nearly 13%, S&P 500 adding 9,1%, while the industrial Dow Jones gained almost 7%.

Nasdaq Composite, Daily chart

Last week, the world’s largest central bank Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate by another 75 bps to a range of 2,25% to 2,50%, to curb the 41-year record-high inflation.

European markets extend slightly last Friday’s 1,5% profits, after Eurozone GDP- Gross Domestic Product grew surprisingly strongly in the Q2, 2022, easing-for the moment- recession or economic slowdown fears due to the Ukraine war, energy crisis, and record-high inflation.

Crude oil weakens on poor Chinese PMI data:

Brent oil prices kick off the new month on the left foot, losing 1% to below $103/b, while WTI oil hovers around the $97/b support level, following the lower-than-expected July’s Chinese Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which came at 49 vs 50,4 forecasted, increasing the worries for declining fuel demand growth in the world’s largest petroleum consumer.

Brent and WTI oil contracts ended July with their second straight monthly losses for the first time since 2020, as surging inflation and higher interest rates raise fears of a recession that would erode fuel demand around the world.

Energy investors will have an eye on the well-expected OPEC+ output meeting, which is set to meet on Wednesday to discuss future supply, at a time when western countries have imposed sanctions on Russian oil exports, and fuel demand is at risk due to the zero-covid policy by the Chinese government.

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