US Open Note – Stocks set for opening gains; Powell’s testimony in focus

Powell testimony in focus; Bundesbank’s new chief warns on inflation

Markets are anticipating Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s renomination hearing in Congress later today, waiting to find out his current views on inflation ahead of the CPI data release on Wednesday. In his prepared remarks, Powell vowed to bring down inflation and warned markets that the ongoing post-pandemic expansion might look different from what they have witnessed before.

Earlier today, ECB President Christine Lagarde gave a speech at the ceremony marking the change of office of the President of the German Bundesbank. Although her remarks offered nothing new, Joachim Nagel’s speech – the new Bundesbank President and ECB Governing Council member – struck a hawkish tone, stressing his fear that inflation might remain elevated for longer than expected, helping the common currency to gather strength against the US dollar.

In the rest of the FX arena, the US dollar inched lower on Tuesday against a basket of currencies, driven by the pullback in the 10-year Treasury yield, which stabilized around 1.77%. The perceived risk-on mood in today’s trading has weighed on the Japanese yen, which slipped against all of its major rivals and benefited the commodity-linked Canadian dollar, which is gaining ground against the euro and the greenback.

US stocks headed for opening gains

On Monday, the S&P 500 index edged 0.1% lower for a fifth consecutive session, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 closed the day in the green as ‘buy the dip’ investors emerged, erasing an intraday loss of around 2.7%. This move reversed days of tech and high-growth shares selling pressures, which were driven by the increasing prospects of faster monetary policy tightening. However, with inflationary pressures remaining elevated, the prospect of higher bond yields might drive investors further out of growth and into value-oriented stocks.

Futures for the major US indices are pointing for a higher opening on Tuesday, with investors continuing to monitor rising yields and persistent inflation risks. Moreover, the European Stoxx 600 index is in positive territory, bouncing back from yesterday’s decline. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.03% lower, weighted by fresh regional lockdowns in China. Lastly, oil prices are gaining ground over fears of reduced US future production, as President Biden announced the reduction of land available for oil leasing in Alaska.

Chips undersupply to last throughout 2022

According to recent updates, last week’s fire in ASML’s production site in Berlin has damaged crucial components for the manufacturing of the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) machines, used to build chip architecture. This could derail the company’s production, increasing fears that chip shortages could persist for longer than anticipated. Moreover, Volkswagen's CFO stated in an interview today that the undersupply of chips is likely to remain throughout 2022.

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