The Federal Reserve once again hogged the headlines last week as the latest meeting minutes (more info below) suggests they are very much on course to hike 0.5% at their next meeting in early May. So far this year there have been nearly 70 interest rate hikes from 45 central banks, versus over 120 across 41 central banks in the whole of last year. If nothing else this shows the general shift to a more hawkish tone as inflation continues to climb globally.

 

There are a number of key inflation releases this week, including from China, the UK, and the US. The UN reported last week that global food prices are at a record high and are up over 34% over the last year. This will put sitting governments under pressure from the electorate. However, in the highest profile test yet, sitting French President Macron has done well in the 1st round of the election (again, more info below).

 

Moving to the ‘micro’, this week sees Q1 earnings season kick off, with JP Morgan reporting on Wednesday and followed by a plethora of US financials the next day. The big news last week was Twitter’s 27% price jump on Monday as Elon Musk announced he had acquired a 9.8% holding. Interestingly, it has just been announced that he won’t take a seat on the board, as previously expected.

 

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