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The last few years, marked by the global pandemic and geopolitical tensions, have brought a period of de-globalisation of world trade. However, despite disruption to the established trading order, with its extended supply chains, new patterns of trade continue to emerge.
Markets contemplated a milestone moment, as western central banks appeared to hit the ‘high for long’ pause in their hiking cycle. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) and the Bank of England left rates on hold, a week after the European Central Bank (ECB) raised rates, possibly for the last time this cycle.
As summer temperatures soared in the northern hemisphere, the head of the UN claimed that the world had moved to an ‘era of global boiling’. The International Energy Agency (IEA) declared in June that oil consumption of 103 million barrels per day (mbpd) was the highest figure ever recorded, a reminder that energy is required for cooling as well as heating.
President Biden’s clean energy bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, passed its first birthday. The legislation, worth up to $369 billion in tax breaks and subsidies, has catapulted the US to become a global leader in green technology, as well as advancing its 2050 net zero goals.
The US Federal Reserve (Fed) resumed its rate hiking path in July, with interest rates hitting a 22 year high. However, as US inflation continued to moderate, the Fed insisted it would be ‘data dependent’ regarding further rate hikes this year.
The ‘Magnificent Seven’ big tech stocks continue to dominate the S&P 500 index. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla and Meta now represent around 30% of the index. The standout performer among them has been Nvidia, the superchip manufacturer, whose share price has more than tripled so far this year.
After its June ‘skip’, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) resumed the path of rising interest rates, delivering the eleventh hike in twelve meetings and hitting a 22 year high. With inflation recently dipping towards the Fed’s 2% target, could the peak in this rate cycle finally have been reached?
The US Federal Reserve (Fed) paused its rate-hiking stance for the first time in 14 months and indicated that investors should expect two more hikes in 2023. Despite this, recent inflation data have proved benign.
Sentiment over the period grew increasingly upbeat, supported by agreement in the US Senate on an increase in the US debt ceiling and the Federal Reserve (Fed) decision to pause rate hikes in June. In contrast, the Australian and Canadian central bank decisions to hike rates were reminders inflation remains a concern in developed economies.
Financial markets have traded in a tight range over recent weeks. Market professionals put this down to the stand-off over the US debt ceiling, which prompted ratings agency Fitch to put the US on watch for a possible downgrade of its AAA rating. But what is this ceiling?
After decades in the doldrums, the Japanese stock market has roared back on to the hot list, hitting a 33 year high. And following six successive weeks of gains, international investors seem keen to join the rally.