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HSBC Keeps Lending Rate Unchanged Despite Central Bank Hike

Despite Hong Kong's central bank boosting the base rate, HSBC Holdings announced on Thursday that it would maintain its best lending rate at 5%.

Just several hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a rate increase of the same size, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on Thursday increased its base rate charge by 75 basis points to 2%.

The HSBC stock is in the green so far, edging 3.28% higher to $32.16 on Wednesday’s trading session amid a rally in global stock markets.

MACROECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS

South Korea's economy would grow at its slowest rate in three years in 2022 due to global supply restrictions, soaring inflation, and rapidly rising interest rates, according to an estimate from the finance ministry released on Thursday. The new administration of President Yoon Suk-yeol announced its first set of economic policy goals, shedding light that it had downgraded this year's growth forecast from 3.1% to 2.6%, and increased its inflation expectations from 2.2% to 4.7%; the quickest rate since 2008.

Australian employment bounced back strongly in May while the jobless rate held at 50-year lows, as additional individuals went searching for work; an uplifting sign that the economy can endure the higher loan costs. The jobless rate held at 3.9% in May, when examiners had searched for a plunge to 3.8%.

CURRENCIES

The U.S. dollar was up on Thursday morning, despite investors realizing a 75-basis points interest rate hike announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve yesterday. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.15% to 105.095.

GOLD

Gold prices rose on Thursday’s early hours, as investors processed the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to deliver a massive interest rate hike. The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday to combat inflation, after the U.S. consumer price index rose 8.6% year-on-year in May, marking the largest escalation since 1994. Gold futures jumped 0.64% in value to price at $1,831 per ounce.

OIL

Oil was up on Thursday’s early hours, supported by peak summer demand and tight global supply, despite the U.S. interest rate hike spurring worries over diminishing fuel demand. Investors & traders are now assessing the tight supplies and bolstered demand as the West imposed sanctions on Russian oil, while China's oil demand is expected to rebound with easing coronavirus curbs. Brent futures jumped 0.28% to $118.84 per barrel, while WTI futures bumped 0.31% to $115.67 a barrel.

INDICES

USA: S&P500 +1.46%, Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.00%, Nasdaq Composite +2.49%

Europe: FTSE 100 -1.42%, DAX -1.98%, CAC 40 -1.49%

Asia: Nikkei 225 +0.40%, Hang Seng -2.17%, CSI 300 -0.66%, Nifty 50 -1.78%

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