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Shares Subdued as Investors FlipFlop on Rate Rises

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World shares were struggling to extend a bounce off four week lows on Tuesday, oil prices were at their highest in well over two years, while indecisive bond markets were stuck flipflopping on inflation and interest rate moves.

Europes STOXX 600 was quick to give back early gains as falls in technology and healthcare stocks the main winners from the COVID pandemic offset a modestly higher UK FTSE with its oil and mining firms. .EU

It bucked some solid gains in Asia and Wall Street overnight but government bond prices also fell as fixed income investors continued to adjust to last weeks U.S. Federal Reserve shift, when policymakers pulled forward rate hike forecasts.

All eyes are on Fed chief Jerome Powell who appears before U.S. Congress from 1800 GMT, although investors were also starting to square up positions ahead of the start of the second half of the year.

Im not sure anyone really knows what this move by the Fed really means at the moment, said CMC Markets senior strategist Michael Hewson.

Im not sure its changed a damn thing. The Fed is going to taper its purchases … its just about finessing that message.

It was not affecting oil markets. Brent crude prices hit 75 a barrel for the first time since April 2019 as traders remained bullish about a quick recovery in global oil demand as economies reopen. OR

Brent gained 1.9 and U.S. WTI crude had jumped 2.8 on Monday and both benchmarks have now risen for the past four weeks on optimism over the pace of…

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