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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 globalization and further fuel higher structural inflation.
The three major US equity indices closed flat to higher in a choppy Wednesday session, with the Dow up 73 points, while both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended roughly flat, amid a recovery in tech stocks and consumer staples. Several Fed policymakers, including Chair Jerome Powell, made a case for faster interest rate hikes to rein in sky-high inflation, with markets now pricing a 75-basis-point hike in July. Elsewhere, major European bourses closed the mid-week session in negative territory, ending a three-day winning streak as renewed recession fears dented risk sentiment.
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