From Tokyo to San Francisco, investors are selling, selling, selling at a brisk clip on Monday as fears the inflationary wave sinking portfolios will become a tsunami.
Since Friday’s surprisingly high consumer price index (CPI) reading, in which inflation hit a 40-year-high in the world’s largest economy, global investors have rushed for the exits on assumptions that higher prices will plunge much of the developed world into a recession as consumers and businesses everywhere pull back.
BofA Securities warned on Friday that there was “nowhere to hide” for investors as inflation seeps into every corner of the economy. Those words hung over the markets again this morning. For a second straight session, investors were dumping bonds. They were offloading crypto. They were trimming their equity portfolios.
U.S. futures point to a rough open with the Nasdaq future contracts down 2.3% at 3 a.m. ET, implying a two-day drop of nearly 6%.
Over in Europe, stocks were awash in red, following Asia’s lead downward. The benchmark Europe Stoxx 600 fell 1% at the open as the euro tumbled and bond yield soared on concerns central banks will be forced to raise rates more aggressively to cool off soaring prices.
Zooming back to Friday’s CPI data dump, markets have been clobbered by investor fears.
The worst performances can be found in the crypto space. Bitcoin and Ethereum's Ether tumbled over the weekend as investors pull back from all things crypto with inflation soaring. On Monday morning, Bitcoin fell below $25,000, a level it hasn't seen in 18 months.
The carnage in the markets sets up investors for a volatile stretch ahead of Wednesday's FOMC meeting. Wall Street now expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by 50 points this week, and at the next session, which would make three consecutive 50-basis-point hikes.
Goldman Sachs revised its forecast for rate hikes, predicting the Fed will unload a further three 50-basis-point hikes in the next three rate-setting sessions. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summer, who's been warning prices have been running too hot for months now, said investors could even see a hike as high as 75 basis points as the Fed tries to get inflation under control, a view shared by Deutsche Bank economists.
That kind of pessimism is influencing a dramatic selloff. Yields on the 10-year Treasury note have leaped by 15 basis points since Friday morning, and the dollar has taken off against other world currencies. This morning, the Japanese yen hit a 24-year-low against the dollar.
And the inflation story is hardly taking a reprieve this week. Tomorrow, investors will get the producer price index (PPI) and retail sales data on Friday, keeping the I-word in the spotlight.
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