Friday, 25 May 2018

Higher interest rates may be good for stocks but some economists see rate cuts in 2020

Markets fell on Thursday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.5 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 percent.

News that US President Donald Trump was cancelling a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had little impact on markets.

However, European and Asian stocks were hit by an announcement by the US government on Wednesday that it was investigating whether new tariffs against imported autos are called for based on national security grounds.

The US 10-year Treasury yield fell 2.2 basis points to 2.981 percent, slightly easing fears of higher interest rates.

On the other hand, a CNBC report has highlighted an analysis by Bill Miller showing that higher interest rates may actually be good for the stock market.

"Looking at the last 20 years — all cases of higher interest rates have been met with a market that's gone higher," Miller said.

Indeed, concerns may soon shift from higher interest rates to weaker economic growth.

A poll of over 100 economists taken 16-24 May showed that US economic growth was forecast to average 2.8 percent in 2018, its fastest pace in three years, but slow to 2.5 percent next year and 1.8 percent in 2020.

The likelihood of a US recession in the next 12 months was seen as 15 percent, around where it has been over the last few years, but that probability doubled to 31 percent over the next two years.

An increasing number of economists expect the Federal Reserve to start cutting interest rates sometime in 2020 compared with previous polls.

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