Broad-based global equity indexes appreciated in the first quarter as the financial markets anticipated less hawkish signals from the US Federal Reserve (Fed). After the Fed’s preferred measures of inflation and wages cooled, Fed Chairman Powell committed to “a couple more” rate increases, signaling that the Fed may be close to the end of its tightening cycle. In response to reports of higher-than-expected inflation and tighter than expected US labor markets, however, Fed members began to telegraph more hawkish sentiments, whipsawing the markets with every public appearance.
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