Stocks held previous week’s strong gains – inflation data due

Global stock-markets were mixed last week but US equities had a late rally on Friday which has pulled Europe higher today (Monday). Generally though there was a consolidation of the previous week’s strong gains which is encouraging.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spoke at a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week. He said it was still too early for the central bank to announce the end of its series of interest rate hikes. Although he did not present a case for further rate increases, he highlighted that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is committed to a monetary policy stance that will bring inflation down to 2 percent over the long term. Powell expressed caution about prematurely claiming success and stated that officials will closely monitor economic conditions to avoid the risk of raising rates excessively. He also emphasised the importance of not being swayed by short-term positive data but instead taking a careful approach. US stocks sold-off on Thursday after Powell’s comments but recovered strongly on Friday to end the week on a high.

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