Investors Brace For More Hikes, Wall Street Stocks In The Red

Wall Street stocks were all flashing red at the close of the week of August 26, after Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell’s signal that the central bank would keep hiking rates to tame inflation.

The Dow led declines among the three U.S. benchmarks over the course of the week. Meanwhile, Nasdaq registered its worst daily performance since June 16, weighed by high-growth technology stocks which tumbled after rallying the previous day in anticipation of Powell’s scheduled speech.

Investors knew further rate rises were coming, and they have been divided between whether a 75-basis-point and a 50-basis-point hike by the Fed was coming next month.

However, recent data highlighting continued strength in the labor market, to offset two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, had led to some speculating a more tempered pace of hikes could be forthcoming.

The stock market continued its downward trend in Jamaica for yet another week.

Officials of the Bank of Jamaica have pushed back against criticisms in some quarters that the relative stability in the exchange rate of the Jamaican dollar, particularly against its main US dollar counterpart, is hurting the competitiveness of the country’s export sector, including tourism.

In other news, the Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ, has reported that for July 2022, output prices for producers in the mining and quarrying industry declined by 1.4 per cent, which was primarily attributed to the 1.5 per cent fall in the index for the major group ‘Bauxite Mining & Alumina Processing’.

Meanwhile the Manufacturing industry’s index recorded its first decline since the start of the 2022 calendar year, of 0.8 per cent.

Internationally, European Union states reached a deal to regulate emergency gas cuts ahead of this winter. The compromise means that the rationing would be binding in an emergency, but would initially exempt some nations and some industries.

The “gas war” between Russia and Europe is rattling the continent. The euro was down 0.85% against the dollar on Tuesday as natural gas prices soared, painting a bleak picture ahead for Europe’s energy needs.