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Interest rate hike chatter grows as FTSE rises on PMI data

·3-min read
FTSE, Bank of England
General view of the Bank of England as seen from Mansion House Street in London. Photo: Thomas Krych/SOPA/Sipa USA

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) reversed earlier declines by mid-afternoon in London, as analysts heightened chatter about a potential interest rate hike at the Bank of England's next meeting in December. 

The UK's bellwether index moved 0.2% higher by the closing bell, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.8%. 

Over in Europe, Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) headed more than 1% lower and France's CAC (^FCHI) was down 0.7%. 

"The relatively stable PMI reading will probably be enough to convince the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) that the economy is strong enough to withstand a rate hike in December," said Thomas Pugh, economist at RSM.

"Looking at the PMIs in more detail shows there was a surprise rise in the manufacturing PMI from 57.8 in October to 58.2 in November, driven by strong rises in output, new orders and employment. However, participants noted that severe shortages of materials and staff held back growth.

"The services PMI also fell by less-than-expected to 58.6 in November as domestic demand remained strong."

Read more: UK firms face price spikes ahead of Christmas

"A December rate hike now looks likely, but the 2022 rate path anticipated by markets is too steep," said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. 

Oil also reversed earlier declines following steep losses on fears of mounting COVID cases and new rounds of lockdowns in Europe. Brent crude (BZ=F) futures headed more than 1% lower in early trade, hitting $78.87 per barrel. 

By the closing bell in London futures were up more than 2.5%. Crude (CL=F) futures were also down 1.3% earlier in the session to trade at $75.76, before rebounding to trade 1.9% higher.  

Meanwhile Stateside, US stock futures were making muted moves, with the S&P 500 (^GSPC) falling 0.1% by close of play in London. The Dow (^DJI) rose 0.2% and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) fell 0.9%. 

In Monday’s session, the Dow was up around 0.1%, while the S&P 500 index dipped 0.3% and the Nasdaq, the tech-savvy index, slumped 1.3%.

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Overnight in Asia there was another mixed day of trade. The Hang Seng (^HSI) fell 1.1%, moving near two-week lows as investors digested news of a slew of poor tech earnings. 

"Because the growth of the economy in China has slowed down in the second half of 2021, Beijing is facing the conundrum of deciding whether to ease its policies to accommodate markets," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. 

"The issue at hand is complex, and the decision is not as easy as it seems. This is because, although economic growth is slowing down, the Yuan, China’s legal tender, is soaring due to historical trade surpluses and factory gate prices are rising."

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