Daily Briefing: Will Commodity Prices Drive Inflation Even Higher?

It’s safe to say the macro environment is unsettled right now, to an extent not seen in decades, and financial markets are correspondingly volatile. Crude oil prices are now down nearly 30% from recent highs, as investors weigh the demand impact of new COVID-19 lockdowns in China against supply constraints owing to the Russia-Ukraine war. Wheat has also backed off but is still up nearly 40% since Russia invaded Ukraine. The Labor Department reported this morning that the Producer Price Index for February was up 10% year over year and 0.8% month over month, as recent spikes for energy and food inputs promise a “faster for longer” rate of rise. Still, the major U.S. equity indexes were all trading more than 1% higher through midday. This is all prelude to Wednesday’s monetary policy announcement by the Federal Open Market Committee. Inflation is the main enemy for the Federal Reserve. But global stress – heightened by reported talks between Saudi Arabia and China about the former accepting the yuan in payment for oil rather than the U.S. dollar – must be weighing on Jerome Powell and company. Tony Greer, founder of TG Macro and editor of The Morning Navigator, joins Warren Pies, founder of 3Fourteen Research, to discuss the impact of war in Eastern Europe on commodity and financial markets and how policymakers are likely to try to manage it all. Want to submit questions? Drop them right here on the Exchange: https://rvtv.io/3KKXSai

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