The Bank of England has kept the gilt market greased and the Chancellor has brought forward the date he will reveal his detailed fiscal plans, easing pressure on the UK. Meanwhile, inflation still reigns supreme in investors’ minds.
Soaring bonds yields sent mortgage rates skyrocketing. However, they also upended pension funds in a nasty feedback loop that threatened to send many of them to the wall.
Russia’s invasion at first wrong-footed both Ukraine and the West, but the defenders’ resolve has been tougher than expected. Now, financial sanctions are hitting Russians hard.
Talks to ward off conflict over Ukraine are failing and a Russian invasion is reportedly imminent. Is it brinkmanship or a real risk?
The years of loose money are coming to an end. That will cause some short-term upheaval in markets, but if economies remain strong stocks should soon bounce back.
Bond yields have been climbing almost as much as investors’ worry levels. Pausing to remind ourselves what central bankers are trying to achieve – and how stocks typically react – is helpful.
With COVID cases starting to roll over – in the UK at least – and investors settling down for some old-fashioned Fed watching, everyone is hoping 2022 will be a bit more like pre-pandemic times.
Another COVID-blighted year has passed. Yet, for all the turmoil, 2021 was a great one for markets.