Consumer confidence takes a dive as rising interest rates and high inflation weigh on sentiment

US stockmarkets rallied for a fourth straight week, supported by a downside surprise in US inflation data and the continued flow of better-than-expected earnings.

The ASX200 made a two-month high supported by the rebound on Wall Street and is looking increasingly comfortable above the critical psychological 7000 level.

Here are the top five things that happened in markets this week:

1. Finally – a downside surprise in US CPI data

The July CPI report came in below expectations.

Headline CPI printed flat versus 0.2 per cent expected, leading the year-on-year rate low to 8.5 per cent.

Core CPI rose by 0.3 per cent versus 0.5 per cent expected, leaving the annual rate steady at 5.9 per cent.

2. However, bond market and Fed Speakers unimpressed

Equity markets surged following the downside surprise in US CPI, but the bond market and Fed Speakers were unimpressed.

Renowned Fed doves, Neel Kashkari and Charles Evans, reiterated comments that higher interest rates are required.

The interest rate market still has 62 basis points of tightening priced for the September FOMC, reflecting the possibility of a third consecutive 75bp rate hike.

3. Australian consumer confidence falls again

The Westpac consumer sentiment index fell for a ninth consecutive month (81.2 in August from 83.8 in July) as rising interest rates, falling housing prices and high inflation weigh on sentiment.

4. CBA full-year profit rises by 9 per cent to $9.6 billion

CBA reported a 9 per cent increase in full-year profits to $9.6 billion.

Despite this, the market took a dim view of a contraction in CBA’s Net Interest Margins (NIM), sending the share price -0.3 per cent lower.

5. Elon Musk sells another $US6.9 billion of Tesla shares

The world’s richest person, Elon Musk, sold another $US6.9 billion worth of Tesla shares this week to ‘‘avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock’’ in the event US courts force him to honour his original offer to buy Twitter.

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