On capital markets, hopes of a de-escalation in the war in Ukraine quickly petered out again and the mood remains one of uncertainty. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial closed -0.19% lower at 35'228.81 points at midweek after a rather directionless trading, and the broad S&P 500 declined -0.63% to 4'602.45 points. Technology indices on the Nasdaq, which had posted strong gains the day before, exited Wednesday's trading session about one percent lower. In Asia, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and geopolitical uncertainties also weighed on stock market sentiment.
Today, Opec+ will discuss its production strategy. Energy ministers from a total of 23 countries are expected to attend the online conference. Experts expect the alliance to stick to its current line and turn on the oil tap by around 400'000 barrels (159 liters each) a day in May.
For the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in China. At the top diplomatic meeting, both sides stressed the quality of relations and the desire to expand the strategic partnership. The invitation to the personal talks came from Beijing. The occasion was not the Ukraine conflict, however, but Afghanistan, which is why representatives of the US, neighboring states and the Taliban government are also took part.
According to the US labor market services firm ADP, job growth in the private sector remained solid in March. According to the report, 455'000 new jobs were created, driven primarily by the service sector. Job growth was already strong in February at 475'000.
In the euro countries, general economic sentiment deteriorated significantly in March against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. The Economic Sentiment Indicator published monthly by the EU Commission fell by 5.4 points to 108.5. Only in the service sector were the companies surveyed more confident due to the easing of the pandemic measures.
According to a recent survey by the Munich-based Ifo Institute, more and more companies are planning to raise prices in the next three months. The Ifo price expectations index reached a record high of 54.6 points. Against this background, the inflation rate in Germany is likely to “rise to well over five percent” in the current year, the Ifo commented. The intention to increase prices was strongest in the food retail sector.
German industry, and especially the energy-intensive chemical industry, must prepare for a “drastic, dramatic scenario” in the event of an embargo on Russian energy supplies, warned Christian Kullmann, president of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI). Production could come to a standstill within a few days and other sectors such as the construction, automotive and packaging industries would no longer be able to produce.
Consumer prices in Germany continued to rise significantly in March. On an annual basis, the inflation rate increased from +5.5% in February to +7.3%, significantly higher than the +6.2% forecast by economists on average.
In Spain, too, inflation, which was already high, continued to rise. The cost of living increased by +9.8% year-on-year in March. A drastic jump compared with the inflation rate of +7.6% in February. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by just under +4% on a broad basis.
|08:00||UK||GDP Q4 (q/q, revision)||+1.0%|
|08:00||GE||Retail Sales (March, m/m)||+2.0%|
|08:45||FR||Consumer Prices (March, y/y)||+4.2%|
|08:45||FR||Consumer Spending (February, m/m)||-1.5%|
|09:55||GE||Unemployment Rate (March)||5.0%|
|11:00||IT||Consumer Prices (February, y/y)||+6.2%|
|11:00||EZ||Unemployment Rate (February)||6.8%|
|14:30||US||Initial Jobless Claims (weekly)||187,000|
|14:30||US||Consumer Spending (February, m/m)||+2.1%|
|14:30||US||Personal Income (February, m/m)||+0.0%|
|15:45||US||Chicago PMI (March)||56.3|
|US||Walgreens Boots Alliance||Q2|
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Editor: Alessandro Fezzi, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.
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