Nasdaq Fastens 7-Day Losing Streak

US stocks rose and the Nasdaq posted a seven-session loss streak on Wednesday as traders took in new economic indicators.

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book survey found that US economic growth will weaken further in the coming year, while inflation is showing signs of cooling. That could give policymakers some leeway to be less aggressive. Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said the central bank will fight inflation “for as long as it takes”, but also noted “risks associated with tightening too much”.

Early on Wednesday, a Wall Street Journal article suggested a 75 basis point rate hike was looming in September, based on Fed Chair Powell’s commitment to curb inflation. That would mark the third consecutive increase of that magnitude.

Here’s where the US indices stood when the market closed at 4 p.m. Wednesday:

According to top economist Mohamed El-Erian, US equities will overcome international headwinds and outperform their global competitors. He added that the West will “suffer quite a bit” in the next one to two years, but is generally in a good place to consolidate gains.

Russia plans to ban private investors from buying foreign securities from “unfriendly” countries that have imposed sanctions. The Bank of Russia said more than 5 million investors had frozen their assets in foreign securities as a result of sanctions.

Meanwhile, natural gas prices could soar even higher as European and Asian suppliers rush to charter LNG carriers.

Citigroup’s global head of commodities, Ed Morse, told Bloomberg that Russia may soon have to start selling natural gas back to Europe, as alternative markets may not be enough. In addition, this would be a way for Moscow to maximize its profits.

RBC’s chief of raw materials, Helima Croft, added that a total Russian gas shutdown would plunge Europe into a “multi-winter” crisis.

In currencies, the strengthening dollar has caused China’s foreign exchange reserves to hit their lowest level since 2018. Data from the People’s Bank of China showed reserves fell by the equivalent of $49.2 billion to $3.0549 at the end of August trillion.

Oil prices plummeted, with West Texas Intermediate falling 5.27% to $82.30 a barrel. Brent oil, the international benchmark, fell 5.02% to $88.17 a barrel.

Gold rose 0.88% to $1,727.90 an ounce. The 10-year yield fell by 8 basis points to 3.26%.

Bitcoin rose 1.01% to $19,055.55.

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