A Fed survey shows that US firms are facing a labour shortage. “Supply chain delays, labour market tensions, and elevated production costs continue to pose challenges to firms’ ability to meet demand,” the Fed survey says. Along with record inflation, this situation could lead to a significant slowdown in economic growth if the Fed fails to make a “soft landing” of the economy. The US stock indices traded mixed yesterday. At the close of the stock market yesterday the Dow Jones index (US30) increased by 0.71%, while the S&P 500 index (US500) decreased by 0.06%. The technology index NASDAQ (US100) fell by 1.22%.
Wall Street analysts abandon their optimistic expectations as more companies show weak quarterly reports. The weakness refers to a drop in revenue and net income as well as a decline in forecasts for the next quarter.
Tesla beats Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue. The company’s two new plants in Texas and Berlin are increasing production, and Musk delivered the first Tesla Model Y cars made in Texas earlier this month. The company’s stock jumped in the post-market session.
Procter & Gamble, the US manufacturer of household and personal care products, which owns brands such as Ariel, Tide, Lenor, Fairy, Pampers, Always, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Pantene, and Blend-a-med, is likely to be unable to continue operating in Russia due to sanctions, supply problems and monetary controls, Reuters reported, citing a company statement. Earlier, the company stopped investing in Russia and reduced its product range.
Major European indices closed yesterday in the green zone. Germany’s DAX (DE30) gained 1.47%, France’s CAC 40 (FR 40) jumped by 1.38%, Spain’s IBEX 35 (ES35) gained 0.87%, Britain’s FTSE 100 (UK100) added 0.37%. European Union auto sales fell by 20.5% in March compared to the same month in 2021. ECB officials said yesterday that the bond-buying program will end soon and that interest rate hikes will depend on economic data. This is not the first time officials have said such a thing, but they do not give specific dates or numbers. This once again emphasizes the uncertainty of the ECB in terms of monetary policy. The producer price index, which shows inflation between factories, reached3 0.9% in the annual term in Germany. This is a record figure, which will undoubtedly be reflected in the growth of consumer prices as well.
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High-ranking officials from the UK, US, and Canada left Wednesday’s G20 meeting before Russia’s speech. The UK Finance Minister Sunack wrote the following: “We are united in our condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and will push for stronger international coordination to punish Russia”. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Russia is to blame for slow global growth, high inflation, and supply chain problems and should be isolated.
Germany will stop importing Russian oil by the end of 2022, Reuters reported citing German Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Berbock. According to Bloomberg, Britain’s new sanctions against Russia will affect defence companies, the military, and businessmen.
The US oil inventories fell by 8 million barrels over the week. But oil prices were little changed yesterday as the Shanghai lockdown continues, significantly reducing demand for oil.
Asian stock markets traded flat yesterday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (JP225) jumped by 0.86% yesterday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HK50) fell by 0.40% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (AU200) added 0.05%. Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong stock indices fell yesterday due to concerns about the Chinese economy, but a sharp drop in US long-term bond yields supported other benchmark indices. COVID-related deaths in Shanghai (three reported on Monday and seven more on Tuesday) heightened fears that the pandemic could return on a broader scale to China’s second-largest city, which has been in lockdown for weeks. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for China this year to 4.4%, well below Beijing’s target of about 5.5%.
Consumer prices in New Zealand increased at their fastest pace in three decades last quarter, underscoring the need for the central bank to stay on its hawkish course to keep price pressures in check without plunging the economy into recession. Inflation jumped by 1.8% in the last quarter to an annualized rate of 6.9%.
Main market quotes:
S&P 500 (F) (US500) 4,459.45 −2.76 (−0.062%)
Dow Jones (US30) 35,160.79 +249.59 (+0.71%)
DAX (DE40) 14,362.03 +208.57 (+1.47%)
FTSE 100 (UK100) 7,629.22 +27.94 (+0.37%)
USD Index 100.31 −0.65 (−0.64%)
- – New Zealand Consumer Price Index (q/q) at 01:45 (GMT+3);
- – Australia Retail Sales (m/m) at 04:30 (GMT+3);
- – Eurozone Consumer Price Index (m/m) at 12:00 (GMT+3);
- – US Initial Jobless Claims (w/w) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
- – US Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (m/m) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
- – US Natural Gas Storage (w/w) at 17:30 (GMT+3);
- – UK BoE Gov Bailey Speaks at 19:30 (GMT+3);
- – Eurozone ECB President Lagarde Speaks at 20:00 (GMT+3);
- – US Fed Chair Powell Speaks at 20:00 (GMT+3).
This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, and/or a guarantee, and/or a forecast of future events.