The Bank of Japan expects consumer prices to rise significantly. Due to higher energy and raw material costs as well as a weaker yen, an inflation rate of +1.9% is to be expected in the current fiscal year (until the end of March 2023). The previous forecast anticipated an annualized cost-of-living increase of +1.1%. At the same time, weaker growth in the world's third-largest economy is assumed. Unlike the Fed and (at least to some extent) the ECB, the Bank of Japan has not yet been able to initiate a normalization of monetary policy.
The Dow Jones Industrial ended Wednesday trading with a moderate gain of +0.19% at 33'301.93 points. During the day, a gain of about one percent could be observed in the meantime. The S&P 500 increased +0.21% to 4'183.96 points. However, the mood remains tense, especially on the technology exchange Nasdaq, where the indices yesterday could not recover from the previous slump and closed virtually unchanged – on Tuesday, the Nasdaq indices fell to the lowest level in almost a year. No support was provided by the quarterly results of Google parent company Alphabet. The share fell after disappointing figures by almost -4%. Investors continue to be concerned about the anticipated interest rate hikes by the Fed, the war in Ukraine and the harsh pandemic measures in China and their impact on the already severely battered global supply chains.
On the foreign exchange market, the euro fell below 1.06 against the US dollar at times and reached its lowest level since 2017, or a five-year low, by midweek. Against the Swiss franc, the European single currency approached the 1.02 mark. The greenback is receiving tailwind from the prospect of a sharp rise in interest rates in the US. On the other hand, the euro is being weighed down by the Ukraine war and the associated uncertainty regarding energy supplies.
Now that Russia has cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, the risk of a comprehensive energy freeze has increased. However, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sought to allay concerns, saying the EU was prepared for such a scenario. “A supply freeze of Russian gas to EU countries would not hit the Union unexpectedly,” von der Leyen said.
Meanwhile, Germany has further reduced its dependence on Russian natural gas, according to Economics Minister Robert Habeck. The share has now fallen to 35% from around 55% in 2021, he said. By the end of the year, Germany aims to further reduce the share of Russian gas supplies to about 30%, and by mid-2024 to just 10%.
After Poland and Bulgaria, Russia will also turn off the gas tap to other “unfriendly states” if they do not settle their payments to the state-owned Gazprom group in Russian rubles. Russia wants to hear constructive proposals from the EU on how to shape future relations using political-diplomatic methods, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
In the US Senate, Lael Brainard was confirmed for a four-year term as the new vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve (Fed) by a majority of 52 votes to 43. Brainard, who was born in Hamburg, Germany, is an economist and had been a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2014. She previously served as the US Treasury Department's undersecretary for international affairs from 2010 to 2013.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finds that efforts to meet the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are making slow progress in industrialized nations. So far, only about a quarter of the measurable sub-targets have been achieved or are close to being achieved. Stronger political measures are therefore urgently needed.
|05:00||JP||Bank of Japan monetary policy announcement||-0.1%|
|09:00||ESP||Consumer Prices (April, y/y)||+9.8%|
|10:00||EZ||ECB Monthly Bulletin|
|10:00||IT||Business Climate (April)||110.3|
|10:00||IT||Consumer Confidence (April)||100.8|
|11:00||EZ||Economic Sentiment (April)||108.5|
|11:00||EZ||Business Climate (April)||+1.67|
|11:00||EZ||Consumer Sentiment (April)||-16.9|
|14:00||GE||Consumer Prices (April, y/y)||+7.6%|
|14:30||US||GDP Q1 (revision, annualized)||+6.9%|
|14:30||US||Consumer Spending Q4 (q/q)||+2.5%|
|14:30||US||PCE Core rate (Fed inflation indicator, Q1, q/q)||+5.0%|
|14:30||US||Initial Jobless Claims (weekly)||184,000|
Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.
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