Omicron Outbreak in Beijing

20 June 2022, 01:37

For a while, it seemed like the stringent lockdowns in China (which has both impacted supply chains and oil prices) were easing up. However, a recent omicron outbreak in Beijing has put the city back at square one as closures and mass testing are being reinstated. More than 200 have been infected, and 6000 isolated due to an outbreak in the Chinese capital’s Chaoyang district. China’s strict zero-covid policy has meant numerous shutdowns in cities across china. In the UK, covid numbers are on the rise again just after the country’s Health Secretary declared the country “post pandemic”. Elsewhere, Singapore’s health ministry has warned that another wave of the virus was coming in July or August as vaccination antibodies begin to wane. 

Central Bank Hikes All-Around

Fed interest rates were raised by 75 points on Wednesday in a move widely anticipated by the financial markets. This brings the US rate to between 1.5% to 1.75%. The Bank of England has raised interest rates by 25 points for the fifth consecutive time, bringing rates to 1.25%. Meanwhile, the Swiss National Bank has raised its interest rates for the first time since 2007 – bringing its rate from -0.75% to -0.25%. Markets reacted with fears of a recession on Thursday’s trading, sending US equities resuming a dive that sent the S&P500 into bear market territory on Tuesday.  May’s US CPI data put inflation at an increase of 8.6% year-on-year, posting a fresh 40-year high. 

Is The Crypto Winter Here?

Cryptocurrencies have been on a downward slide for a few months now. Multiple reasons are contributing to this: broad risk-off sentiment in the markets, fears of an impending recession, and contagion from Luna’s spectacular crash in May. Bitcoin has almost hit $20,000, and sitting at levels last seen in 2020. Ethereum, meanwhile, is close to $1000. Analysts say that the crypto bottom has not yet been hit, and that capitulation is needed before the market can stage another long-term rally. Meanwhile, crypto lender Celsius is being investigated by regulators for an accounts freeze.