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March lift-off

Today's news headlines: 

‘Powell opens door to faster rate-hike path to curb inflation’. The Federal Reserve announced it would end its asset purchases in March and begin shrinking its balance sheet after interest rates begin to rise. In a virtual press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated Fed members were ‘of a mind’ to raise interest rates in March and suggested more frequent or aggressive rate hikes may be needed as ‘there’s a risk that the high inflation we’re seeing will be prolonged’. (Bloomberg)

‘ECB warns European lenders on Russia sanctions risk’. The European Central Bank has warned lenders with exposures to Russia to prepare for the possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. The central bank wants to ensure European banks can comply with sanctions that may be imposed, despite a reluctance within Europe to impose heavy sanctions. The banks were asked how European lenders would handle various scenarios, including blocking Russian access to the Swift international payments system. (Financial Times)


Global equities fell overnight following the Fed’s March lift-off announcement while the US Dollar approached an 18-month high on its trade-weighted index. Sovereign yields climbed across the board, and oil prices ticked lower.


German GfK Consumer Confidence (Feb): -6.7 (est. -8.0)
US Initial Jobless Claims (Jan 22nd): 1:30PM
US Durable Goods Orders (Dec): 1:30PM
US Annualised Gross Domestic Product QoQ (Q4): 1:30PM

Interbank rates:

GBP/USD – 1.3412
GBP/EUR – 1.1975
EUR/USD – 1.1200
USD/CAD – 1.2706

The markets are moving. To speak to our team, please call +44 (0)20 3465 8200.