Investors await key US inflation report

written on August 10, 2022

The war in Ukraine has tended to increase uncertainty regarding inflation and growth prospects. When and with what consequences this war will end is pure speculation, but capital markets are expected to build a certain immunity to the headline risks in the coming weeks. The medium- to long-term consequences, on the other hand, could be significant. It is possible that we are at the beginning of a new bloc formation or a new Cold War. This would put a significant damper on globalization and further fuel higher structural inflation. 

All three major US equity indices closed in the red of Tuesday, with the Dow Jones retreating 0.2%, the S&P 500 falling 0.4% and the Nasdaq shedding 1.2%. The S&P 500 recorded its fourth straight day of losses and the Nasdaq fell for the third day in a row. Elsewhere, European bourses also suffered renewed pressure on Tuesday, with the regional Euro Stoxx 50 pulling back from an almost two-month peak to finish roughly 1% down. 

Summary

  • Asian markets fell on Wednesday with the Hang Seng index leading losses in the region with a drop of over 2%. 
  • European shares are tipped to follow their overseas peers lower as investors await a crucial US inflation report that could offer clues on the path ahead for monetary policy. 
  • Oil prices remained under pressure after an industry report showed that US crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week, in the latest sign of weakening demand. 
  • China’s annual inflation rate was at 2.7% in July, up from 2.5% in June and compared with market forecasts of 2.9%. This was the fastest rise in consumer prices since July 2020, mainly due to a surge in food prices. In the meantime, the annual producer price inflation eased to a 17-month low of 4.2% from 6.1% in June and less than market consensus of 4.8%. 
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold 7.92 million shares of Tesla worth around $6.88 billion, between 5th and 9th August, according to a series of financial filings published Tuesday night. Musk justified the sale by saying he wanted to avoid a last-minute selloff of the electric-car maker’s shares in the event he is forced to go ahead with his now-pulled deal to buy Twitter. 
  • Micron Technology cut fourth-quarter revenue forecast and warned of a negative free cash flow in the following quarter as demand for chips used in personal computers and smartphones drop. 

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