Developments around the Omicron coronavirus variant will continue to be the main driver of market sentiment in the week ahead and this news flow, together with a hawkish turn by the Federal Reserve, means Friday’s inflation data will be in the spotlight.
The highlight of the economic calendar will be Friday’s November consumer price inflation data. U.S. CPI accelerated 6.2% in October, the fastest annual increase in over thirty years amid a global supply chain crunch and is forecast to rise 6.7% in November.
Volatility set to continue
Stocks sold off last week, hit by the double-whammy of uncertainty over the Omicron variant and the prospect of faster tapering by the Fed.
That turbulence looks set to continue, with investors dumping shares of growth and technology companies in favor of value stocks, which include companies like banks, financials, and energy firms, expecting them to perform better as the Fed normalizes monetary policy.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, fell as much as 20% on Saturday, amid a broad-based selloff in digital currencies, in the wake of a volatile week on equities markets.
Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, dropped more than 10% before pulling back, while other widely traded digital coins including Dogecoin and Shiba also tumbled.
The UK is set to release October GDP data on Friday which is expected to remain steady as workers gradually returned to offices and retail sales remained solid. Recent economic data out of the UK has indicated that the Bank of England could go ahead with its much-debated first-rate hike since the pandemic in the face of spiraling inflation.