It’s been a relatively calm start to trading this week, with Europe a mixed bag at the close and the US a little lower.
The weaker Chinese figures overnight will be of some concern at a time of slowing economic activity around the world. Still, as has been the case so often in recent years, the lockdowns will have heavily distorted the data. With lockdowns priced in to an extent, the key will be how quickly restrictions are lifted and then how well the economy bounces back.
Stock markets have come under heavy pressure globally as central banks have been forced to become part of the problem rather than the solution, as has so often been their job in the past. We’ve become very used to easy monetary conditions but now we have a devastating combination of a cost-of-living crisis, looming recession, very high inflation and much higher interest rates.
And as we’re hearing so often now, policymakers understand the pain that households are feeling and will experience going forward but getting inflation back under control is the primary focus. Which means further pain ahead.
The BoE monetary policy report hearing reflected everything we’ve heard in recent weeks as the UK heads for recession and double-digit inflation. Bailey and his colleagues accept how bad the situation in the UK is and the scale of the task at hand but whether they’re doing enough to address it is hard to say. They were among the first to start hiking late last year but have still been criticised for starting too late.
Bitcoin struggles at USD 30,000
An impressive rebound in bitcoin after breaking USD 30,000 may already have run its course, with the cryptocurrency giving up earlier gains to trade a little lower on the day. It’s spent a little time over the last couple of days above USD 30,000 but it is struggling to hang on to them. That doesn’t bode well at a time of risk aversion in the markets and such negative coverage of stablecoins following the Terra collapse. There may be more pain ahead.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar: www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/
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