Global markets down as Spain’s inflation hits almost 10pc; ASX up on mining boost – ABC News

Instability and inflation are continuing to weigh on global markets, but the Australian benchmark is defying that downer to hit a new 50-day high. 

At 10:45am AEDT, the ASX 200 was up 0.4 per cent to 7,546 points. 

That was despite global markets, including the major index in Europe and the Nasdaq, making notable losses overnight (local time) as inflation data and instability spooked investors.

The top-performing stocks on the ASX 200 on Thursday mid-morning were miners Champion Iron, BHP and Whitehaven Coal, which were all up about 4 per cent. 

It comes as the price of iron ore and many other commodities continues to rise amid the war in Ukraine.

There are also news reports today that the United States has agreed to invest more in Australian critical minerals projects, which could further boost the resources sector.

Everything from lithium to zinc is in higher demand globally for renewable energy projects.

The critical minerals sector also got a $250 million boost in this week’s federal budget.

Tech is down as investors sell off stocks bought in recent days. Appen and Zip were both down around 3 per cent.

Retail chain Harvey Norman was also down 5.1 per cent. 

Wall Street and European markets trend down

Both Wall Street and the European majors ended in the red overnight (local time) as hopes for peace talks for Ukraine and Russia failed to end the conflict.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down by 0.7 per cent, with retail stocks shedding 2.7 per cent to lead losses.

Gas stocks gained 3 per cent, as concerns about supply lifted, driving up prices.

Germany and Austria, which buy a lot of gas from Russia, have started contingency planning for what to do if their supply is curtailed.

Meanwhile, early inflation figures out of Germany and Spain have showed price spikes there are continuing.

“Ahead of the EU wide inflation readings due for release on Friday, overnight Germany and Spain recorded their largest price increases since reunification in the early 1990s (or 1985 prior to unification),” NAB notes. 

Spain’s inflation jumped 9.8 per cent annually while Germany leapt to 7.6 per cent.

The European Central Bank’s president Christine Lagarde is warning that those price hikes could get worse and the conflict is posing “significant risks to growth”.

“Reaction to the inflation data and Lagarde’s comments triggered a sell-off of EU yields led by the front end of the curve,” NAB notes.

christine lagarde on trial in parischristine lagarde on trial in paris
The European Central Bank’s president Christine Lagarde is warning that the effects of inflation and instability will continue to press on the region’s economy.(Reuters: Charles Platiau)

Wall Street also ended a four-day winning streak overnight.

The S&P 500 fell 0.63 per cent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 1.2 per cent, and the Dow Jones dropped much less at 0.2 per cent off.

The price of Brent crude jumped again on concerns about supply and the war.

By 7:45am AEDT, it had gained 2.1 per cent to $US112.57 a barrel.

The Aussie dollar was buying around 75.20 US cents overnight. 

“Once the impact of the war fades, AUD is well positioned to trend higher over the rest of this year,” ANZ notes.

“USD declined overnight despite a lack of signs of a de-escalation in the Russia Ukraine tensions.

“The war will increasingly fade as a major driver of currencies. 

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