Global markets post mixed signals

Signaling more aggressive stance, Fed chair’s speech affects US markets

Global stock exchanges posted mixed figures amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, while recent comments by the chairman of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) have also impacted investor behavior.

On Monday, Jerome Powell underlined the Fed’s commitment to restoring price stability, even by raising interest rates more “aggressively.”

After Powell’s speech, market expectations for the next Fed interest rate hike rose to a 50 basis points and the year-end forecast reached 2.25% for the policy rate.

The Fed raised its rate by 25 basis points to 0.5% last week.

Powell also warned of significant market disruption across such a broad range of commodities as a result of the Russia and Ukraine war, as both countries are the world’s largest suppliers of certain basic goods, such as wheat.

The barrel price of Brent oil, which closed the previous week at $108.80, saw $116.60 and is currently at about $119.10.

The per-ton price wheat in US future contracts for May has reached $430 after it approached $500 earlier this month.

US stock markets closed Monday in the negative, while European and Asian markets posted mixed figures.

On Monday, Christine Lagarde, head of European Central Bank (ECB), said economic recovery was in different phases in the EU and the US,meaning that the ECB’s monetary policy would not be in sync with that of the Fed.

She also underlined that elements of stagflation had not yet emerged in Europe.

Analysts will monitor developments related to the Russia-Ukraine war, along with speeches from ECB and Fed officials.


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