Another disappointing day for stock markets with US indices ending the day flat after Europe posted decent losses.
There was always going to be some nervousness heading into today, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell, ECB President Christine Lagarde and BoE Governor Andrew Bailey all appearing on a panel at the ECB Forum.
Under normal circumstances, there would be potential for that to put investors a bit on edge so you can imagine what today had the potential to do. Which probably explains the very conservative approach by the above.
As is so often the case with events like these, there was a lot of attention in the build-up but the panel discussion itself was a bit of an anticlimax.
Nothing we heard was new, there was no interesting fresh insight or hints at impending policy shifts that risked catching investors wrong-footed. It was largely a rehash of past comments.
So while it didn’t send investors into panic mode, it didn’t do much to reassure them either. Central banks are clearly concerned about inflation and the economy but ultimately, the former takes precedence. I’m sure there’ll be plenty more surprises in the weeks ahead, perhaps starting tomorrow when we get inflation, income and spending figures.
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