Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell is among a number of monetary policymakers due to speak this week, with traders hoping for clues about the bank's plans for interest rates
Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell is among a number of monetary policymakers due to speak this week, with traders hoping for clues about the bank's plans for interest rates AFP News

Wall Street stocks pushed higher on Tuesday on continued hopes of an end to global interest-rate hikes but Europe and Asia were weighed down by concerns about weak growth.

Oil prices tumbled around four percent on growth concerns.

On Wall Street, major indices ended the day higher as investors look to speeches by policymakers this week. They include Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell for clues about the rate outlook, with some officials still reluctant to call an end to the tightening cycle.

"Following last week's strong rally, global stock indices are losing upside momentum during another quiet session amid a light economic calendar and as they approach technical resistance," said market analyst Axel Rudolph at online trading platform IG.

Stocks surged last week after the Fed held its policy rate steady and Powell suggested the central bank may not need to hike rates further in order to bring inflation down back to officials' two percent target.

Data showing slower growth in the US jobs market helped solidify market expectations that interest rates have indeed peaked and may come down sooner than previously expected, further supporting a rally in stocks.

Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said the focus of investors is "again turning to the likely glide path of US rate policy, as a raft of Fed policymakers get set to hold court when it comes to the health of the US economy and the likelihood of another rate hike."

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note retreated as well, a development that analysts say provides support to markets. Yields are seen as a key proxy for interest rates.

But European equity markets finished mostly lower, as did Asian indices on worries about economic growth.

Data showing China's exports fell at a faster pace than predicted in October, as the world's second-largest economy is buffeted by faltering global demand and a sluggish domestic recovery, sent oil prices down.

"Weaker than expected Chinese exports for October have fed into concerns that the global economy is languishing in stagflation territory, with little prospect of an upturn," said Hewson.

At the same time, the International Monetary Fund raised its 2023 economic growth forecast for China, citing stronger consumption and recent policy measures announced by Beijing.

Traders this week will be keeping tabs also on talks between US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her Chinese counterpart He Lifeng in San Francisco, hoping for a further thawing of frosty ties between the economic superpowers.

The two days of bilateral meetings come ahead of an expected one-on-one between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit later this month.

Meanwhile official data showed German industrial output slumped more than expected in September, signaling that Europe's biggest economy was struggling to emerge from a slowdown.

Investors also remain concerned about the potential impact of the Israel-Hamas war on the world economy.

"Last week was all about dawning expectation that interest rates might not stay as high for as long as had been previously expected, and this week it's all about growth -- or the lack of it," noted Danni Hewson, AJ Bell head of financial analysis.

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 34,152.60 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 4,378.38 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.9 percent at 13,639.86 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,410.04 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.1 percent at 15,152.64 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.4 percent at 6,986.23 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,153.37 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.3 percent at 32,271.82 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.7 percent at 17,670.16 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 3,057.27 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0701 from $1.0723 on Monday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2297 from $1.2342

Dollar/yen: UP at 150.38 yen from 150.00 yen

Euro/pound: UP at 86.99 pence from 86.85 pence

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 4.2 percent at $81.61 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 4.3 percent at $77.37 per barrel