Stock Market Live Updates | Sensex Today : Sensex flat, Nifty around 22,500; IT, Auto, drag, Realty, FMCG, Bank, FS up

Stock Market Live Updates | Sensex Today : Global shares retreated on Friday as geopolitical tension kept crude oil above $90 a barrel ahead of U.S. payroll numbers, and hawkish central bankers raised doubts about the pace and timing of interest rate cuts.

The threat of supply disruptions from prolonged conflict in the Middle East kept Brent oil futures above $90 a barrel, a level not seen since last October, with prices heading for their second weekly gain.

The MSCI All Country stock index was down 0.3% at 770.7 points as it continues to ease in the first week of the quarter after hitting a lifetime high at 785.62 points on March 21.

In Europe, the STOXX index of 600 companies dropped 1.2% to 504.7 points, after Tuesday’s lifetime high of 515.77 points.

A cooling U.S. services sector and comments this week from Fed Chair Jerome Powell reinforced the view that rate cuts were likely to commence at some point this year.

However, some other Fed officials have taken a more conservative view, with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, in particular, striking a more hawkish stance overnight, saying rate cuts might not be required this year if inflation continues to stall.

So far, however, there appears to be a healthy pullback in markets that had been grinding higher in a very tight trendline, making it look a bit stretched as investors ready for important U.S. payroll numbers, Ellis said.

U.S. non-farm payroll numbers for March are due before the opening bell on Wall Street, with economists expecting a rise of 200,000, compared with 275,000 in February, while the unemployment rate is likely to keep steady at 3.9%.

U.S. stock index futures,, were trading firmer, recovering some ground after the three key indexes fell more than 1% each on Thursday on hawkish Fed comments and Middle East tension.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.45%, tracking a late tumble on Wall Street as risk aversion dominated the market mood. The index was set to end the week little changed. A holiday in China also made for thinner trade.

Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 2%, pressured in part by a stronger yen, thanks to the prospect of further rate hikes there and more jawboning from Japanese officials.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.6%.

In commodities, Brent edged up to $90.78 a barrel, after striking a more than five-month high on Thursday. U.S. crude eased a touch to $86.51 per barrel.

Gold retreated from a record high and was last slightly lower at $2,288 an ounce.

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