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A Date for Data 

It’s all about today’s inflation data from the US. Core inflation is expected to decline to 5.4% from 5.7%, up +0.4% month on month, with the headline print down to +6.2%. For all the talk of disinflation, price growth remains way too high. The market is going to realise that a peak inflation is leading to more of a plateau not a sharp march down.  

  

Not Feeling Disinflated 

About that disinflation...UK wage growth has accelerated - I'm not sure if you can call it a wage price spiral yet or not....but remember the same people who told you inflation would be brief and transitory are saying they don’t see the dangers of a wage price spiral. Wage growth accelerated to 6.7% in the final three months of last year from 6.4% in the three months to November. It all goes to back up the thesis that inflation will remain persistent because of structural problems in the labour market. Of course, pay growth is still shy of inflation at 10.5%. Inflation is not coming down fast enough.  

  

Bulls Out to Trot 

The FTSE 100, the UK's benchmark stock index, reached a new milestone, approaching the magic 8,000 level. This was largely driven by market optimism that persisted after a promising start to the week. Investors were closely monitoring the US inflation data, as the results could have significant implications for the global economy. Meanwhile, European equity markets saw broad gains following Wall Street's more than 1% increase, and most Asian stocks were also on the rise, indicating that the overall sentiment is remaining largely bullish despite hawkish comments yesterday. 

  

Stability for BoJ?  

Following the formal appointment of Kazuo Ueda as Japan's next central bank governor, there is an expectation that he will need to lead the process of normalizing the country's monetary policy, given the absence of any notable hawkishness under the current regime, with the 10-year Japanese Government Bond (JGB) yield already above the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) ceiling at over 0.5%, and the USD/JPY pair trading relatively unchanged around 131. 

 

Fed Cautious  

Bowman encapsulated: According to Fed's Bowman, the US central bank plans to continue raising interest rates. This decision is driven by the strong labor market in the country and the lack of moderation in inflation, which is still higher than desired. Bowman's statement indicates that the Fed is committed to maintaining a cautious approach towards inflation while prioritizing job creation. 

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