Hawkish Fed remarks dent global stocks

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Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Tuesday reiterated the central bank’s commitment to bringing inflation under control through monetary policy tightening, and said his biggest fear is that the persistence of price pressures is underestimated.

Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

LONDON — European markets were muted on Wednesday as new hawkish comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve policymaker kept investors hesitant.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index hovered around the flatline in mid-afternoon trade. Basic resources fell 1.5% while household goods added 0.7%.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Tuesday reiterated the central bank’s commitment to bringing inflation under control through monetary policy tightening, and said his biggest fear is that the persistence of price pressures is underestimated.

The comments came as markets prepare for a much-anticipated speech from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday addressing the central bank’s tightening path, following its annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posted a third consecutive day of a losses in the previous session. China’s Shenzhen Component led losses regionally.

U.S. stock futures were flat in early premarket trading on Wednesday as Wall Street tries to halt further losses ahead of Powell’s speech on Friday.

Back in Europe, investors will be perusing the European Central Bank’s accounts of its latest monetary policy discussions, due to be published on Wednesday.

Having hit a 20-year low of $0.9901 on Tuesday, the euro recovered slightly overnight to trade at $0.9950 by mid-morning in London on Wednesday.

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