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Marketmind: Wages will test wagers on rates

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Tom Westbrook

Europe’s central bank has singled out wages as the single biggest risk to its crusade to contain inflation. Fourth-quarter negotiated wages data likely headlines the trading day.

In the third-quarter last year negotiated wage growth was a record high 4.69%. By putting money in the pockets of those likely to spend it, pay hikes are good for demand. But that and higher costs for firms can put upward pressure on prices.

Among recent settlements, wages rose by 4.5% for employees at Spanish stores of Carrefour and Ikea, 5% at French energy major TotalEnergies and 6.6% for Dutch rail workers. French Uber drivers’ minimum hourly rate rose 17.6%.

Minimum wages were lifted by 3.4% in Germany, 3.8% in the Netherlands and 5% in Spain. Given policymakers’ focus, a hot figure today would put a spanner in market pricing for 100 basis points of cuts from the European Central Bank this year.

The mood is already jittery after the Asia session, with U.S. equity futures slipping and Treasury yields ticking higher. And steep cuts to mortgage rates in China has failed to help sentiment in battered mainland stock markets. [MKTS/GLOB]

The Shanghai Composite struggled to do much better than flat and the blue chip CSI300 fell 0.2%. Iron ore futures fell for a second straight session. [.SS][IRONORE/]

South Korea’s KOSPI lurched 1% lower, after striking a 20-month high in the previous session. Canadian inflation due later in the day could also be a bearer of bad news and has traders on edge after an upside U.S. CPI surprise last week.

On the deal front, U.S. consumer bank Capital One plans to acquire U.S. credit card issuer Discover Financial Services in an all-stock transaction valued at $35.3 billion.

ANZ Bank won approval from Australia’s competition tribunal to go ahead with its $3.2 billion buyout of Suncorp’s banking business. Its shares fell 2.4%, Suncorp’s rose 6%.

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

Economics: European wages, Canadian CPI, U.S. leading index

Earnings: InterContinental Hotels, Air Liquide, Walmart


(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)


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