U.S. Equity Markets reversed afternoon losses to end the day higher, led by the 0.95% gain in the S&P. This positive environment saw the VIX closed lower by 4% at a price of 24.02. In a Senate testimony, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she anticipates inflation to remain elevated moving forward. Yellen emphasised that while President Joe Biden’s administration updated its inflation projection to an average of 4.7% in 2022, the number would likely be even higher – adding to present market uncertainty. Still, the U.S.’s reported decrease in the Trade Deficit – as well as China’s ongoing economic reopening – helped lift parts of the market throughout the day. Over the longer term, however, consumers will likely remain concerned about rising gas and food prices, which could further alter consumer-spending habits following this week’s U.S. Consumer Price Index data. Within the S&P 500, 10 of the 11 sectors finished higher. European Markets closed mixed. The European Central Bank could be forced to hike interest rates to 1.50% by the middle of next year from the current -0.50% amid rising inflation. The Italian National Institute of Statistics lowered its 2022 economic growth forecast from 4.7% to 2.8%. German Factory Orders contracted in April due to worsening automobile, chemical, and electronics demand. Sentix’s Euro-Zone Investor Confidence data for June was better than expected, as survey respondents were less pessimistic about the current situation and outlook. In Asia, The Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates by 0.50%, double analysts’ forecasts, while saying it anticipates additional hikes to fight inflation. Japan’s household spending increased for the second straight month in April, hitting the highest level since last spring due to the end of COVID-19 restrictions. Chinese authorities are letting technology companies Full Truck Alliance and Kanzhun sign up new users – a year after Beijing launched an investigation – boosting the regulatory outlook. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank will discuss ending easy-money policies when its stable-inflation goal is reached. Elsewhere, Oil rose 1.24% on European Union sanctions against Russia, while Gold closed 0.7% higher on Dollar weakness.
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