Global Markets Weekly
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Charles-Henry Monchau Chief Investment officer

Hawkish Fed Sparks Dow's Worst Streak Ever

The Fed’s most aggressive rate hike (+75bp) since 1994 raised recession fears and sent stocks sharply lower for a 2nd consecutive week. The S&P 500 Index recorded its worst weekly decline since March 2020 and entered a bear market, ending the week nearly 24% below its January peak. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones has now had 11 down weeks out of the last 12. This has never happened before. While US stocks rallied after the FOMC rate decision, the mood on Wall Street worsened on Thursday on the back of weak macro numbers. Indeed, several reports (housing starts, building permits) indicated that the US housing sector was already feeling the impact of Fed tightening and the surge in mortgage rates. Moreover, US retail sales were lower than expected while weekly jobless claims came in higher than expected. Inflation and rate fears pushed the yield on the 10-year US Treasury briefly to 3.49% on Tuesday (highest in more than a decade) before retreating to 3.24% by the end of the week. Shares in Europe fell sharply on concerns that economic growth may stall after several central banks announced rate increases. The SNB unexpectedly raised interest rates for the 1st time in 15 years, by 50bps to -0.25%. The BoE raised rates to 1.25% (+25bps). Meanwhile, The ECB held an unscheduled meeting and indicated it would take action to stem the widening yield spreads between member states’ sovereign bonds. Chinese stocks rallied. Cryptos had  their worst week since March 2020.