The geopolitical escalation at month’s end marks a further rise in volatility. Credit spreads (IG, HY and Euro peripherals) continued to widen while equity markets corrected further. The rotation towards value continued, but with a pause from the most cyclical segments, amid increasing economic growth risks from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Markets continue to reassess the hawkish turns of the Fed and the ECB as well as the risks related to the escalating crisis in eastern Ukraine. On the macro front, US job market data were well above expectations; the January inflation reading was at its highest level in four decades. This complicates the route for central banks caught between possibly higher inflation and lower growth.
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