The financial markets are in a state of flux as investors grapple with rising inflation, geopolitical tensions, and hawkish central banks. The war in Ukraine is a continuing concern for investors. The conflict has caused energy prices to surge, which is adding to inflationary pressures. The war has also disrupted global supply chains, which could lead to shortages of goods and services.
Last week, the Federal Reserve continued to lean towards a monetary policy that maintains, and indeed increases, interest rates to further curb inflation. Investors are concerned that the central bank’s efforts to combat inflation will lead to a recession. Higher interest rates will make it more expensive for businesses to borrow money, which could lead to slower economic growth.
UK investors are concerned with what happens in the US, as it is usually a good indicator of what will happen this side of the pond. In the UK, throughout the last 12 months, the FTSE 100 has maintained a relatively level due to its influence from miners and oil producers.
What does this mean for you?
Despite the challenges facing the financial markets, there are some reasons for optimism. The economy is still growing, and corporate earnings are expected to remain strong. Additionally, the Federal Reserve has a history of being able to engineer a soft landing, which is a period of economic growth that occurs alongside rising interest rates.
Investors should carefully consider the risks and rewards before making any investment decisions.
Keep your eye on these
Here are some factors that investors should keep an eye on in the coming months:
The pace of inflation
If inflation continues to rise at its current pace, it could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more aggressively, which could lead to a recession.
The outcome of the war in Ukraine
The war is a major source of uncertainty for the global economy. If the conflict drags on, it could lead to further escalation in energy prices and supply chain disruption.
The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy
The Fed is expected to raise interest rates several more times this year. However, the pace of rate hikes will depend on how the economy performs. If the economy weakens, the Fed may be forced to slow down its rate hike cycle.
Investors should carefully monitor these factors and speak to their Financial Adviser about adjusting their portfolios as needed.
Please speak to one of our qualified advisers today if you want to discuss this further.