The Biggest Market Movers of 2022

What news stories should investors and traders be following to stay ahead of major trends?  During the last half of 2022, there are several important global market movers that are already having a significant impact on the economic and financial health of dozens of nations.  Most reputable brokerage websites include news feeds as part of their standard services.  Account holders should use these resources regularly.  However, the latter half of this year is a time when traders of all kinds should follow the big stories to gauge how volatile the marketplace might become and to decide whether to sit on the sidelines for a few days or weeks.

Perhaps the most long-term factor in all global exchanges and economies is the ongoing but ebbing COVID pandemic that began in early 2020.  Along with pandemic news, trading enthusiasts should keep their eyes on the Russia-Ukraine war, energy prices, the continuing equities volatility, the cryptocurrency space, and rising inflation rates in most developed nations.  No single factor has the potential to cause a worldwide recession or recovery.  But taken together, significant events can push financial fortunes in a positive or negative direction.  Here are general details about the news stories that every attentive trader and investor should follow on a daily basis.

The End of COVID

A deadly virus that began in March of 2020 in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, quickly spread around the earth and ended up taking the lives of millions of people.  Still not fully contained, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on nearly every sector of the international economy.  During the worst months of the spread and infection, hundreds of millions of citizens in dozens of nations were confined to their homes, locked out of public buildings, and forced to subsist on savings.

With limited access to food, fuel, and supplies, many people faced national economies that had essentially shut down.  After a series of vaccines were widely distributed, the lockdowns were slowly lifted, and most economic activities began to resume.  But the damage was done because many industries had been irreparably damaged.  Look for continuing surges of viral strains and the possible resumption of lockdowns and business shutdowns.

The Russia-Ukraine War

In February of 2022, Russian troops invaded the Donbas region of Ukraine ostensibly to assist Russia’s large contingent of nationals who reside there.  In reality, the invasion was not much more than a poorly disguised move to acquire resource-rich territory and do battle with a traditional rival.  Although the international community had expected a military clash of one kind or another between the two nations, the invasion prompted quick reactions in commodities and securities markets worldwide.  Major online brokers like AvaTrade typically witness new trading activity during periods of volatility, like petroleum price spikes and just before or after major international military conflicts.

As the conflict continues well past mid-year, petroleum, natural gas, and several other major markets have felt the impact of the situation.  Investors, particularly those who follow forex, energy, and commodities sectors, should pay close attention to rumors or substantial news of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.  If that happens, it could mean a significant reduction in price volatility in numerous markets.

Energy Prices and Stock Meltdowns

Oil prices were already flying high before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  After supply lines were interrupted and production decreased, the petroleum spike began in earnest.  Per-barrel prices hit record highs and continue to rise as 2022 reaches well into summer.  Alongside the energy price spiral, investors endured one of the worst securities meltdowns in recent history as most of the top indices lost about 25 percent of their value compared to the beginning of 2022. One of the more troublesome aspects of the drop-off in equities has been a surge in volatility that spooked many major investors.  While mid-year volume and prices appear to have temporarily stabilized, it’s possible that the pause will be short-lived.  Since early 2022, the S&P has lost about 20% of its total value.

Cryptocurrency Market Losses and Inflations

Shortly after the equities collapsed to historical lows, the crypto sector suffered a similar sell-off that saw the major players in the space, like bitcoin and ethereum, sink to lows that hadn’t been touched since late 2020.  Compared to the equities, the fall was massive, as bitcoin lost nearly 70 percent of its value between January and June.  Inflation is another ongoing fiscal problem in most developed nations, as government regulators attempt in vain to stop it via interest rate hikes that so far have had little effect.  Numerous developed nations’ finance ministers are currently engaged in a rate-hike escalation that shows no signs of abating.