Shares rally as markets bet on more gradual rate hikes

Shares rally as markets bet on more gradual rate hikes

Summary : Asian stocks took their cue on Friday from a late rally on Wall Street, as markets focused on a possible slowdown in the pace of rate hikes rather than a U.S. recession after data showed its economy shrinking for a second straight quarter. Economists are debating whether the world’s biggest economy is already in or on the verge of a recession, as it battles its highest inflation in four decades and gross domestic product shrinks – at a 0.9% annualized rate last quarter, after a 1.6% contraction in the quarter before that. U.S. equities, however, rallied this week as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell led to speculation that rate hikes would begin to slow and eventually turn to rate cuts in 2023.

Brent crude futures rose 0.8% to $108 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was up 1.08% at $97.46.

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