Global equity markets mostly fell Thursday and the pound retreated once more against the dollar on lingering recession fears despite hopes that the US Federal Reserve will tame the pace of aggressive interest rate hikes. Oil prices held steady, failing to build on gains after OPEC and other major producers led by Russia decided to slash output by two million barrels per day. OANDA market analyst Craig Erlam said markets erased early gains as “investors take a cautious approach” ahead of Friday’s release of a US jobs report that could influence the Fed’s next move. Wall Street stocks dipped at the start of trading with the Dow shedding 0.4 percent while European markets were down in afternoon deals. Stocks had snapped higher at the start of this week as disappointing US economic data fuelled hopes that the Federal Reserve may let up in its campaign of aggressive interest rate hikes to get soaring inflation under control. “The narrative in recent days of weaker data being positive as it could be a precursor to slower tightening didn’t seem sustainable and it’s already proving to be the case,” added Erlam. Instead, he said he believed the rally to be a response to the sharp drop in shares in the previous weeks as the Fed made clear it would keep raising rates until inflation is brought down, even if that triggers a recession.