Risk sentiment begins to improve on hopes of increasing crude oil production and the prospect of a diplomatic solution to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- The Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its fifteenth day, with Russia seeming to have switched tactics towards aerial force as its forces struggle to advance further on the ground. The USA has seemingly rejected a Polish proposal to supply Ukraine with fighter jets as Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Poland. Western intelligence assessments suggest that Ukraine can hold out as long as it has an effective aerial defense. Ukrainian President Zelensky stated last night Ukraine was ready for compromise to find a diplomatic solution, raising initial hopes of an end to the war if Russia is prepared to accept less than it initially hoped to achieve, as mediation efforts continue.
- War-driven trends in financial markets reversed quite strongly yesterday, with stock markets rising and commodities falling sharply, especially WTI Crude Oil which closed more than 10% lower on the day after the UAE announced its support for an OPEC production increase. Agricultural commodities such as Wheat, and precious metals, also fell sharply, with Gold closing well below the big round number at $2k after almost reaching its all-time high earlier in the week.
- In the Forex market, the Euro recovered strongly after a prolonged period of weakness. The ECB will present its monthly policy release today, which will be closely watched as the economic implications of the rift between the EU and Russia may be expected to sabotage the expected tightening of monetary policy to some degree. The wider Forex market is dominated by weakness in the Japanese Yen and to a lesser extent the US Dollar, as risk sentiment recovers.
- There will be a release of US CPI (inflation) data today, which is expected to show a month on month increase of 0.8%, which would put the annualized rate close to 8%, another new 40-year high. The data will be closely watched by the market.
- Daily new coronavirus cases globally seem to have peaked six weeks ago, showing that the omicron variant wave is in strong decline almost everywhere.
- It is estimated that 63.4% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 450 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.34%.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing only in Brunei, China, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Thailand, Tonga, and Vietnam.