An employee monitors the petroleum cracking complex at the Lukoil-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez oil refinery in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
Andrei Rudakov | bloomberg | Getty Images
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Markets seem to be reliving the worst of 2022. But investors are still hoping for a fresh start this year.
What you need to know today
- It was a mixed Friday for US stocks. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose, but the Nasdaq Composite fell. The Asia-Pacific region started the week lower, with only China’s Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite gaining ground among major markets.
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A sell-off in US markets, higher oil prices and escalating US-China tensions – it looks like we’re back in the worst part of 2022.
US stocks had a terrible week. The Nasdaq fell 0.61% on Friday, giving it a loss of 2.41% for the week. The Dow rose 0.5% and the S&P rose 0.2%, but they ended the week lower, with the S&P turning in its worst weekly performance in nearly two months.
High energy prices are back again. The April Brent contract, which covers oil from the European North Sea, reached $86.39 a barrel, after rising more than 8% for the week. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose to $79.72 a barrel, up 8.63% this week – their best since October. These prices increased by about 2 percent each on Friday after Russia said it would cut oil production next month in response to Western sanctions.
Relations between the United States and China are tense. After the United States shot down a suspected spying balloon last week, the Commerce Department slapped sanctions on six Chinese airlines it said support the Chinese spying programme. On Sunday, the US military dropped a fourth unidentified object – after the second object fell on Friday and the third fell over the Yukon on Saturday. Although the origins of things are still unclear, it is increasingly likely that more penalties will be imposed.
Amidst it all, investors are focusing on the January US CPI reading with renewed intensity. The numbers will indicate whether we will have to revive the dark days of 2022, or if there is hope in at least one part of the economy — America’s consumers.
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