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European markets fell on Wednesday morning as inflation in the United Kingdom reached a 40-year high and in anticipation of Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell’s testimony at the Senate later on in the day.

Germany’s DAX dipped by 2.20%, France’s CAC 40 was down by 1.88% and London’s FTSE 100 dropped by 1.33%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was also 1.66% lower.

Oil prices were also weaker on Wednesday morning as traders feared an economic slowdown in the US, the largest consumer of crude globally.

Brent Crude futures fell more than $7 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures also dipped, falling more than 6% to under $102 a barrel.

On Wednesday, the UK’s National Office of Statistics published the country’s May Consumer Price Index (CPI) which surged to new 40-year high levels. On a month-to-month basis, prices moved 0.7% higher. According to the ONS, the largest contributor to inflation in May came from soaring costs of food, specifically bread and cereals. Rising electricity, gas and fuel prices also contributed to the index.

Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, is also expected to give a speech at Senate later on in the day. This will be Powell’s twice-yearly report on monetary policy to the Senate and comes a week after the Fed hiked its key short-term interest rate by 75bps amount last week.

Top cryptocurrencies were also feeling bearish on Wednesday ahead of Powell’s speech with bitcoin (BTC) falling back to $20,000 levels and losing over 5% of its value in the past 24 hours. Ethereum (ETH) fell by 6.84% in the past 24 hours, BNB was 4.71% lower in the last day, Cardano (ADA) dipped by 6.33% and Solana (SOL) dipped by 7.31%.

Note, cryptocurrency CFD trading is restricted in the UK for all retail clients.

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