💡Quote of the week
“The disinflationary process, the process of getting inflation down, has begun, and it’s begun in the goods sector. But it has a long way to go. These are the very early stages of disinflation.” Fed Chair Jerome Powell
🏦 Hawkish Fed. Fed officials said on Wednesday more rate hikes are in the cards as the U.S. central bank presses forward with its efforts to cool inflation. (Bloomberg)
“We need to attain a sufficiently restrictive stance of policy. We’re going to need to maintain that for a few years to make sure we get inflation to 2%,” New York Fed President John Williams said.
⭐ Gold eases. The gold price edged lower on Thursday, as the dollar steadied and after Fed officials said more interest rate increases were likely.
The gold price was down 0.1% at $1,874.58 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures dropped 0.2% to $1,886.20.
💵 Flat dollar. The dollar was little changed on Thursday as investors anticipated next week's U.S. inflation data. (CNBC)
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against six rivals, was 0.029% higher on Thursday at 103.460, having fallen nearly 0.3% in the previous session.
🇪🇺 European markets go up. European stocks went higher Thursday as investors weighed economic prospects and interest rate trajectory. (CNBC)
Stocks in most sectors increased, with the Stoxx 600 up 0.8%. Industrial stocks led gains, up 1.8%, while travel and leisure led losses, down 0.4%.
🇩🇪 Up again. Inflation in Germany rose to 8.7% in January, preliminary data from the Destatis statistics agency showed Thursday. The figure was up from 8.6% in December. (DW)
"Although the peak has probably been passed, it is premature to sound the all-clear. While pressures from energy prices will decline in perspective, service and industrial goods prices are gaining in importance this year,” said Fritzi Köhler-Geib, chief economist at the German state-owned development bank KfW.
🇷🇺 All-time high. Russians bought a record number of gold bars in 2022, Finance Ministry data show, as tax cuts on precious metals encouraged people to stock up on bullion as a safe asset. (Reuters)
Last March, Moscow scrapped its 20% VAT on gold trades for individuals to entice people away from the dollar. In addition, gold bars were exempt from income tax, which boosted demand even more.
📸 Image of the week
🤖 “Artificial? Yes. Intelligent? Maybe.” Google's Bard and Microsoft's Bing will make mistakes, and publishers won't like it. (Bloomberg Opinion)
“This scramble by two typically slow-moving tech giants — whose endgame represents nothing less than owning the next era of online search — will be messy and fraught with risk. Both companies are using AI systems that have been trained on billions of words on the public internet, but which can also give incorrect and even biased information,” Bloomberg’s Parmy Olson writes.
What else is happening
🇹🇷 🇸🇾 A 7.8-magnitude quake. A huge earthquake killed more than 3,700 people in Turkey and Syria on Monday, bringing down whole apartment blocks in Turkish cities and piling more devastation on millions of Syrians displaced by years of war. (Reuters)
This was the biggest earthquake recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey since a tremor in the remote South Atlantic in August 2021.
🇺🇦 Zelenskiy to press E.U. leaders for more arms. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Brussels on Thursday as part of his mini-tour of European capitals, pushing E.U. leaders for more weapons in the fight against Russia's invasion and for a quick start to E.U. membership talks. (Reuters)
During his trip to Brussels, Zelenskiy attended a summit of E.U. leaders and addressed the European Parliament.
🪐 Distant worlds. There's a little distant planet called Quaoar that orbits beyond Pluto in the frigid outer reaches of our solar system and surprises astronomers. (Reuters)
Scientists say Quaoar has a ring around it, like Saturn. Quaoar's ring, however, defies current scientific understanding of where such rings can form - it's much further away from it than expected. Therefore, some existing theories, like the one for ice particle aggregation, might need to be revised.
See you next week!