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Article | 14 February 2022 | Investments
Major US indices weakened again, with the Nasdaq underperforming, despite robust quarterly earnings. European bourses rallied on strong corporate data, with cyclicals outperforming. Japan made gains, despite an extension of the Covid-related quasi state of emergency. China’s indices rose, boosted by the perception that the regulatory clampdown might have peaked.
The yield on the benchmark US 10 year Treasury bond topped 2% for the first time since 2019, as short rates jumped sharply and the yield curve flattened. Eurozone government bond yields also climbed, as prices fell, as European Commission inflation forecasts were raised. Both investment grade and high yield bonds tracked equities lower after the US January CPI number was announced.
Sterling made ground, although the euro was weaker across the board. The US dollar managed gains against both the euro and the yen, which made small advances against the euro.
The oil price touched a seven year high of almost $95 per barrel, as geopolitical tensions mounted. Gold proved a safe haven, rising 2.8% on the week.
Fund data provider Morningstar has cut 1,200 funds, with a total value of $1.4 trillion, from its sustainable list after finding ‘ambiguous language’ in legal filings.
US January headline CPI inflation beat expectations at 7.5%, a forty year high, while the core rate hit 6% y/y.
The European Commission cut its GDP growth forecast for 2022 to 4% from 4.3%, blaming higher energy prices and supply chain disruptions.
The corporate earnings season showed widespread strength, with US companies beating forecasts in almost 70% of reports.
Eurozone GDP figures could show a drag from the German economy, which has suffered from component shortages due to supply chain issues.
CPI and PPI inflation data from China, Japan, the US and the UK will be closely analysed, as will the FOMC minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.