The war in Ukraine has tended to increase uncertainty regarding inflation and growth prospects.  When and with what consequences this war will end is pure speculation, but capital markets are expected to build a certain immunity to the headline risks in the coming weeks.  The medium- to long-term consequences, on the other hand, could be significant.  It is possible that we are at the beginning of a new bloc formation or a new Cold War.  This would put a significant damper on globalisation and further fuel higher structural inflation. 

The S&P 500 ended higher on Wednesday following a steep drop the day before, with strong revenue forecasts from Microsoft and Visa helping to alleviate worries about slowing global economic growth and rising interest rates.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, similar to the S&P 500, while the Nasdaq Composite was practically flat.  Meanwhile, commodity stocks lifted European shares to their first gain in four sessions. 


  • Asian shares were higher in Thursday morning trade, as investors in the region watched for market reaction to the Bank of Japna’s latest monetary policy decision. 
  • European and US stock futures are rising this morning following the latest earnings releases.  
  • Oil futures fell more than 1% on Thursday, as uncertainties around the Covid situation in top import China weighed on the markets and dimmed the outlook for fuel demand. 
  • The euro dropped to its weakest level against the US dollar since 2017 yesterday.  The dollar continued its surge, on course for its biggest monthly gain since January 2015 as expectations mounted that the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates aggressively in coming months and the American economy will be stronger than the euro zone. 
  • The Bank of Japan held rates steady this morning, in a largely expected move and stated that it expects short- and long-term policy interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels.   
  • Facebook parent Meta’s first quarter profit and its count of daily users jumped past Wall Street’s expectations despite the company’s slowest revenue growth since going public a decade ago.  Shares were up 18% in after-hours trading Wednesday. 
  • Paypal lowered its full-year profit outlook and revoked its medium-term forecast in conjunction with its latest earnings report, signaling that payment volumes could take a hit from surging inflation and the conflict in Ukraine.  Shares nonetheless rose by over 3% after-hours. 
  • Sanofi’s first quarter adjusted earnings gained 16.2% on continued sales growth of its bestselling drug Dupixent.  First quarter EBITDA rose to €3.07 billion, surpassing the average analyst estimate of €2.84 billion.  The company expects 2022 adjusted EPS to grow at a low double-digit percentage.