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.
UK retail sales bounced back after a COVID-crushed Christmas. Yet the longest income squeeze since Sir Robert Peel was Prime Minister is set to intensify in the coming months.
Talks to ward off conflict over Ukraine are failing and a Russian invasion is reportedly imminent. Is it brinkmanship or a real risk?
The Bank of England seems poised to raise interest rates aggressively to combat inflation, yet its explanations don’t square with its own forecasts and analysis. Expect fewer hikes than the market currently implies.
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.