Wheat and natural gas, two commodities closely linked to the war in Ukraine, fell sharply mid-week. Ukrainian President Zelensky has offered “genuine peace talks” and President Putin has begun withdrawing troops from Rherson, a town considered important because it has been held by Russia since the early days of the invasion. The withdrawal of troops there was seen as a sign that Russia is losing the war.
Stocks jump as inflation falls
Thursday saw the biggest one-day jump in stock index futures in more than two years. December S&P and Dow futures all hit two-month highs, and NASDAQ futures are also struggling to move them. A slowing in the pace of inflation, as measured by the Labor Department, was seen as a reason for the Federal Reserve to back off from an aggressive interest rate hike. Thursday’s report gave investors hope that rates will soon stabilize or come back down, which could help support our economy.
Gold and Silver Rush as Dollar Falls
Dormant gold bugs slithered out of the closet and drove the yellow metal to new daily highs for the second week in a row. Despite the fall in agricultural commodities with Ukraine’s peaceful history and the deceleration of inflation, there has been a sharp and steady fall in the US dollar. This shed light on the benefit of owning gold and other “hard” assets as the greenback declines in value.
UN chief issues climate alert
As more meteorologists warn that the past eight years have been the hottest on record and the rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993, the UN secretary general has warned world leaders . China and the United States were particularly reminded of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Antonio Guterres warned that the world is on “a highway to climate hell with the foot on the accelerator”. The World Meteorological Organization agrees: “Wars will end, inflation will end and the energy crisis will end, but climate change will only get worse.
The biggest winners and losers of the week
Stock indices, metals, foreign currencies and sugar were the bullish stars, while corn, wheat, cattle and natural gas were on the decline. Friday noon, the S&P for December was up about 180 points for the week. December gold rose $100 an ounce. The euro gained almost three and a half cents against the dollar. Corn for December delivery was down 25 cents a bushel and wheat nearly 30 cents.