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Monthly Review - February 2023

one year ago

The Markets



S&P 500




FTSE 100


CAC 40


DAX 30


BEL 20






 Source: Bloomberg 28.02.2023
One year on

One year on

Ukraine marked the anniversary of Russia’s invasion, as President Biden, on a surprise visit to Kyiv, promised ‘unwavering support’. Energy price volatility remains high on the agenda, and with it the possibility of sticky inflation. The EU announced a tenth round of sanctions, including electronic components, aimed at disrupting supply chains to Russian industry. Meanwhile, the energy supermajors declared eye watering profits, as did materials and mining companies, while warning they might ‘never again’ touch such heights. Gold, traditionally a safe haven from both inflation and geopolitical strife, saw strong demand.

Hotting up again

Hotting up again

February brought some surprisingly buoyant data reports. In the US, employment, retail sales and inflation data topped forecasts. The eurozone enjoyed warmer weather and lower gas prices. Added to rising demand and improving supply chains, this gave a boost to GDP growth expectations. Central banks stepped back into the spotlight, keen to flag up the ‘higher for longer’ mantra. A return to 50 basis point rate hikes was increasingly predicted for the US Federal Reserve’s next meeting. Perhaps unsurprising then that the US dollar retraced some of its recent falls.

Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences

Ford announced significant layoffs at its European operations. The staff involved are mainly designers, engineers and testers. Why now? The auto giant has pledged that all the cars it produces in Europe will be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. It seems it’s less complicated to design EV motors than internal combustion engines. And once designed the electric technology is relatively easier to install. Ford promised future technological advances will be ‘made in the USA’. Elsewhere in the EV space, following his massive disposals to fund the Twitter acquisition, index funds now own more Tesla stock than founder Elon Musk.

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