By Sujata Rao and Elizabeth Dilts Marshall
NEW YORK (Reuters) – World stock markets edged lower on Monday on worries over inflation and moves to tax the world’s biggest companies, as investors awaited U.S. consumer inflation data due out Tuesday.
Leading U.S. House of Representatives Democrats said they are seeking to raise the tax rate on corporations to 26.5%, up from the current 21%.
The U.S. consumer price data due out on Tuesday will give a broad picture of the economy’s progress ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, shed 0.22%, while U.S. stocks were mixed.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% and the S&P 500 fell 0.17%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.4%, as investors pivoted away from major technology stocks to sectors more likely to benefit from an economic bounce later this year.
The dollar climbed to a two-week peak against a basket of major currencies as investors priced in the possibility that the Federal would reduce its asset purchases.
“Investors are grappling with an unusually wide range of potential economic outcomes beyond the post-pandemic restart, reflected in frequent shifts in equity market leadership and volatile bond yields,” said Vivek Paul, senior portfolio strategist at BlackRock Investment Institute.
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was down 2 basis points to 1.321%.
European stocks ended higher for the first time in five days on hopes that a strong euro zone economic recovery can outweigh risks of a global slowdown. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.3% after hitting a three-week low last week.
Asian stocks fell earlier in the day following news of a fresh regulatory crackdown on Chinese firms.
China fired a fresh regulatory shot at its tech giants, telling them to end a long-standing practice of blocking each other’s links on their websites. The Financial Times also reported that China is aiming to break up the payments app Alipay.
The Chinese blue-chip index fell 0.5% and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.78% lower. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.22%.
The core reading of the U.S. consumer price index is expected to show a rise of 0.3% in August, down from 0.5% the previous month and 0.9% in June.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is paying close attention to price pressures as it mulls when to begin to reduce its massive bond holdings and how soon to begin lifting rates from near zero. It also remains on the lookout for any signs that price pressures may broaden.
The general air of risk aversion helped lift the dollar index to 92.69, up 0.12%.
Oil prices rose to six-week highs as U.S. output remains slow to return two weeks after Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast and worries another storm could affect output in Texas this week.
Brent crude settled up $0.59, or up 0.81%, at $73.51 a barrel. U.S. crude settled up $0.73, or up 1.05%, at $70.45 per barrel.
Graphic: Global Oil Demand Growth Forecasts: https://graphics.reuters.com/GLOBAL-OIL/lbvgngrzdpq/chart.png
(Reporting by Sujata Rao in London and Elizabeth Dilts Marshall in New York; additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney and Dhara Ranasinghe in London; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Will Dunham, Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)