Markets In A Nutshell: February

Recent economic data has strengthened the belief amongst policymakers that despite a recent slowdown in inflation, it is still insufficient to stop hiking interest rates. 


Policymakers around the world have stressed the need to keep rates elevated for longer, considering inflation is not falling toward its target quick enough, and that the Russia-Ukraine war remains a concern for the global economy. 


A year on from the initial invasion, uncertainty still casts a shadow over the world economy and remains an existing threat to future growth.


After consumer prices in the United States rose more than expected, reading 6.4%, inflationary pressures were evident with most economic indicators rising more than expected and higher than the previous reading. 


US Retail Sales rose by 3%, the largest increase in a year, while producer prices rose at its fastest pace in 7 months by 0.7% and consumer spending rose to 0.6%.


Gold prices also reacted, falling towards a 2-month low. Stocks meanwhile gave up most of its January gains. 


In the currency markets, the euro and the pound recorded their first monthly losses in the last 5 months. Meanwhile, oil prices are trying to show consistency, with a future direction pending a clearer assessment of global demand.




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