Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer




EU energy woes and hawkish Fed weigh on stocks

U.S. equities fell on Friday after a solid August jobs report failed to ease fears that the Fed would keep aggressively hiking interest rates to fight inflation. All of the major US equity averages were lower to end the week, making it their third negative week in a row. The Nasdaq Composite is down 6 days in a row - something it hasn't done since early August 2019. Value stocks continued to outperform high-valuation growth stocks, and large-caps held up significantly better than small-caps. Energy shares suffered as oil prices declined below $90 per barrel for WTI crude. Much awaited Friday’s August US jobs report showed that the economy added 315,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% from 3.5% in July as the labor force participation rate increased. Earlier in the week, the JOLTS Survey for July indicated that job postings unexpectedly increased, reaching nearly two per unemployed worker. The evidence of continued tightness in the labor market helped push the U.S. Treasury yields higher, with the two-year Treasury yield reaching levels not seen since late 2007. Shares in Europe fell sharply on fears that central banks could tighten monetary policy aggressively for an extended period. Worries that Russia might stop natural gas supplies to Europe also weighed on sentiment. After the market closed on Friday, Gazprom announced that a technical fault would extend the pipeline’s closure. The dollar hit a 20-year high.



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