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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.
Equities fell sharply Thursday, effectively more than cancelling the previous session’s rally and leaving key indices at their lowest levels of the year so far, as investors found new reasons to worry about the triple threat of inflation, surging interest rates, and recession. The Dow fell 1.5%, the S&P 500 tumbled 2.1% and the Nasdaq Composite sank 2.8%. All S&P sectors declined, with heavy losses seen from mega-cap tech names such as Tesla, Apple, and Nvidia. Similarly, European markets extended this week’s sell-off, with the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 index closing 1.7% lower, at almost two-year lows.
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