War, peace, inflation



A look at the day ahead in markets from Sujata Rao. Feb 16 was when Russia was meant to invade Ukraine, according to the White House, but Moscow's signals that it was pulling back some troops massed at Ukraine's borders lifted Wall Street on Tuesday and fuelled a selloff in safe-haven Treasuries and German Bunds.

Market gains are extending into Wednesday -- Japan's Nikkei rose 2.2% and European bourses open higher, yet U.S. equity futures show renewed signs of caution.

There are, of course, other ways of waging war; Ukraine blamed Russia for a series of cyber attacks that hit it on Tuesday. And note, Russia's parliament asked President Putin to recognise two Moscow-backed eastern Ukrainian breakaway regions as independent .

Economic data releases and central banks are also occupying markets. Those hoping for signs of inflation peaking will have been dismayed by the latest UK and U.S. readings. British consumer prices rose at the fastest annual pace in nearly 30 years last month, edging up from December

That comes a day after Tuesday's U.S. data showed core factory gate inflation -- the cost for producers after stripping out food and energy -- posting its biggest gain in a year.

The prospect of front-loaded, aggressive rate hikes has dramatically flattened bond curves, with the gap between two-year and 10-year UK gilt yields a whisker off turning negative -- the so-called inversion that often portends an economic slump.

The U.S. Treasury yield curve steepened back on Tuesday as receding war fears lifted 10-year yields, but a day earlier it was the narrowest since mid-2020. For some, the state of the curve is a sign that central banks have fallen behind in their inflation fight and must act faster with policy tightening to catch up.

So all eyes now on minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last meeting. They could show whether policymakers will lean towards a larger half-point rate rise at its March meeting, or whether they favour moving faster with selling the Fed's bond holdings to tighten financial conditions.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Wednesday: -China's inflation slows, leaving room for policy easing -ECB's Schnabel, Villeroy eye end of stimulus scheme -NATO defence ministers meet in Brussels for two-day summit -U.S. retail sales/industrial production/inventories -U.S. Treasury 20-year bond auction -Fed minutes from Jan. 25-26 meeting -U.S. earnings: Kraft Heinz, Cisco, AIG, Nvidia, Marathon European earnings: Ahold, Alcom, Clariant, EDP, Standard Chartered, Heineken, Carrefour, Reckit Benckiser



Inflation Link
Treasury yield curve Link



Reporting by Sujata Rao; editing by Karin Strohecker

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.