Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer


US Rates worries drove stocks sharply lower

In a week of mostly light summer trading, stocks pulled back sharply as investors became less optimistic that the Fed will be able to tame inflation without causing a significant economic slowdown. Growth stocks fared worst in this environment as the  Nasdaq Composite Index fell to its lowest level in a month. Rising oil prices fed into inflation worries but also boosted energy stocks. Most of the market’s moves came at the end of the week as central bankers gathered at the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole. Fed Chairman Powell’s comments were “resolutely hawkish”, leading to a sharp decline of global stocks on Friday. Indeed, previous expectations of a Fed pivot seem premature, leading investors to anticipate a reversal of the summer rally. Much of the week’s economic data surprised on the downside. However, the U.S.Treasury yields moved higher for much of the week. In Europe, the STOXX Europe 600 Index ended the week 2.6% lower. Core eurozone government bond yields moved higher amid rising expectations of more sharp increases in interest rates. The surge of natural gas prices also weighed on sentiment.  Eurozone business activity shrank for a 2nd consecutive month in August, another sign of a possible recession in Q3. China’s stock markets declined as extreme temperatures and power shortages in some provinces raised concerns about the growth outlook.



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