Macro Briefing: 30 January 2024

* US considers how to respond to Sunday’s deadly Iranian-backed militia attack
* Democratic lawmakers pressure Fed Chairman Powell to cut rates, but…
* Is the economy too strong to warrant rate cuts?
* Eurozone growth stagnates
* Elon Musk says Neuralink implanted brain chip in a human
* Regulatory hurdles kill Amazon’s plan to buy Roomba, maker of iRobot
* US 10-year Treasury yield trades below 4.1% ahead of tomorrow’s Fed meeting:

Despite rising risks from war and turmoil around the world, markets have “gotten used to trouble in geopolitics” in recent years, says Beat Wittmann, partner at Porta Advisors. In an interview with CNBC, he adds that the US election in November will be “pretty irrelevant” for markets and that stocks remain the “asset class of choice.” Two key risk factors, he explains, don’t look threatening, at least at the moment. “Will the trouble in the Middle East be a transmission into higher energy prices, or the war in Eastern Europe? Not really, if you look at how energy prices have developed.” Meanwhile, the recent turmoil in international trade routes, although it creates problems, has yet to reach a critical level and from the perspective of markets “that’s all digestible.”

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