The prospect of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine seemed to recede yesterday as Russia signaled some willingness to compromise, sending stocks and risky assets higher in global markets.
- As Russia claims it has begun withdrawing some troops from the Ukrainian border, markets seem to feel war has become less likely, although the US president has said he still believes it is possible Russia will invade Ukraine soon. Stocks and other risky assets rose on this sentiment almost everywhere, while commodities and safe havens dropped.
- The cryptocurrency sector is looking a little more bullish today, with both Bitcoin and Ethereum having found continuing support and continuing to rise.
- US PPI data came in considerably higher than had been expected, showing a 1% month on month increase compared to the consensus forecast of 0.5%. This shows the prices of goods and services, and therefore most likely inflation, are still rising strongly in the USA.
- The Forex market is relatively quiet. Over the short-term the New Zealand and Australian dollars are the strongest currencies, while the Japanese yen and Swiss franc are the weakest.
- Several high-impact data releases are due today, most importantly the minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting. We will also get US retail sales data, and British and Canadian CPI (inflation) data. These releases should trigger more price movement in the Forex market over the course of the day.
- Daily new coronavirus cases globally seem to have peaked four weeks ago, suggesting that the omicron variant wave may have already peaked worldwide.
- It is estimated that 61.9% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 416 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.41%.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Ukraine.