IFX Market Report: Monday 21st March 2022

An improved market mood on Friday allowed Sterling to notch gains again both the Euro and Dollar. This morning however, investor confidence is dwindling as “the market turned risk-adverse on Monday amid a prolonged Russia-Ukraine war”. Latest reports show that Ukraine has rejected a Russian ultimatum offering people in the besieged city of Mariupol safe passage out of the port if they surrender. Over 300,000 are believed to be trapped in Mariupol with supplies running low and aid blocked from entering. Despite the Russian proposal that citizens would be allowed to leave if the city's defenders laid down arms, Ukraine will not surrender the strategic port city. On Sunday, Pyotr Andryushenko, advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol, defiantly stated that they “will fight until the last of our soldiers”. If the fighting in Mariupol intensifies it will likely further damped market sentiment.

Cable was able to make subtle gains on Friday, closing the week slightly closer to the 1.32 handle. GBPUSD opened the day at 1.3156 and closed at 1.3177.

GBPEUR also made solid advances on Friday – starting at 1.1875 and finishing at 1.1913.

EURUSD made a loss to finish the week. The pair opened at 1.1078 and closed at 1.1060.

At 07:30 this morning Christine Lagarde spoke on the ECB’s plans to accelerate their green transition plan. Lagarde said the change will “be inflationary in the short-to-medium-term but drive down prices in the long run”. The ECB President also stressed the importance of reducing the bloc’s reliance on Russian oil and gas.

On the data front it’s a quiet schedule. At 12:30 the US will release February’s Chicago Fed National Activity Index. At 12:00 Federal Reserve member Bostic will be speaking. Then at 16:00 Fed Chair Jerome Powell will also be giving a speech.

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