Wall Street and FTSE tank as Ukraine crisis spooks investors

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gHello. The FTSE 100 is expected to start the week in the red as investors eye a higher number of interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve this year than expected.

Global stocks had one of their worst weeks since the start of the pandemic last week, with the FTSE falling more than 1.2%.

Separately, today will mark a return to the office for many after government work-from-home guidelines were lifted last week, and pressure is mounting on the transport industry not to deter workers from commuting now that many have a choice of where they work.

5 things to start your day

1) The pandemic has ‘leveled’ Britain: Economically prosperous cities were even more affected than poor regions, according to a study by the Center for Cities.

2) Ministers and Treasury officials rack up over £15,000 in travel costs between Whitehall and new Darlington offices: Rishi Sunak announced the move of up to 300 Treasury officials to the North East last March.

3) HSBC has started putting pronouns on branch employee name badges: HSBC’s move comes as banks across Britain race to appear more inclusive.

4) Unilever management likely to come under further pressure: An aggressive activist investor has reportedly taken a stake in the maker of Marmite after Unilever suffered its biggest weekly share price drop since March 2020.

5) Bungalow prices soar as baby boomers retire: Britain’s aging population has helped push the price of bungalows up at an even faster rate than the rest of Britain’s buoyant property market.

What happened overnight

Most Asian stocks tumbled overnight while US and European futures were mixed as traders weighed the likely impact on the market of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy tightening.

Tech stocks in Hong Kong fell, stocks made gains in Japan and European futures fell. Still, gains in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts raised dim hopes of some respite from one of the worst spells for global equities last week since the start of the pandemic.

The Fed is expected to signal an interest rate hike in March and a balance sheet reduction later this year on Wednesday to help fight inflation. The decline in stimulus forces a rethink of the economic and market outlook.

coming today

  • Business : Computer center (Business Update)
  • Economy: Service performance index (UK, US, EU), manufacturing PMI (UK, US, EU), composite PMI (UK, US, EU); Chicago Fed National Activity Index (WE)
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