Macro Briefing: 1 September 2022

* Shelling delays UN inspection of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
* China locks down Chengdu metro area of 21 million people
* Hopes for Fed pivot fades, taking a toll on stocks
* Cleveland Fed President expects benchmark rate to rise above 4%
* China’s factory activity contracted in August, private survey finds
* Eurozone manufacturing contracts again in Aug via PMI survey data
* US imposes tighter restricts on computer chip sales to China
* Gold at six-week low amid stronger dollar and firmer outlook for rate hikes
* Risk of gold falling below $1,700 is limited, predicts Standard Chartered
* Hiring at US companies slows in August to smallest gain since January 2021:

Analyst warns that Federal Reserve risks a major policy error with ongoing tightening. The central bank’s balance sheet reduction — quantitative tightening (QT) — could trigger stronger headwinds than expected, advises Michael Howell, CEO of CrossBorder Capital. “The Fed sees QT/QE operating like an ‘air conditioning unit’ whirring in the background, but we see QT as a wrecking ball that will ultimately reverse into another QE,” he writes in a research note. Our concern is that QE/QT have out-sized effects on financial stability, with the proposed near-one third Fed balance sheet contraction equivalent to around 5% points added to Fed Funds.”

US business formations remain at elevated levels in July, according to data published by the Census Bureau: