3 events that may define trading in 2022

We are only 20 days into 2022, and several developing events are already looking like they will become year defining. Here are 3 events that may define trading in 2022.

 

How hawkish will the US Federal Reserve act in response to inflation?

3 rate hikes are tentatively planned by the US Federal Reserve this year. According to Fed board members, such as Christopher Waller and Patrick Harker, 3 rate hikes is the baseline number needed to control the current level of inflation, but 4 or more hikes is definitely on the table and up for discussion if warranted.

The aggressiveness of each hike is likely to play an equally important role in trading in 2022. While 25-basis point hikes are usual for the Fed (and what is anticipated by the market), some commentators, such as Bill Ackerman, suggest that the Fed may have to double this value for its initial rate hike to help restore its institutional credibility.

The first hike is expected as early as March, but a February hike is entirely possible.

 

Will the Nasdaq 100 have a negative year?

Naturally, as the cost of debt increases (via the aforementioned rate hikes from the US Fed), the growth prospects of the Nasdaq 100 can be squeezed, leading to a flat or negative year for the Nasdaq 100 index.

The last time the Nasdaq 100 had a genuinely negative year was in 2008, dropping in value by 41.9%. The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.04% in 2018, but this is arguably characterised as a flat year rather than a negative year.

With at least 3 rate hikes on the cards for the US Fed, the possibility of a negative year for the index is perhaps higher than a flat year. Bolstering this sentiment is the prediction of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM). Dimon has floated the idea that the Fed may have to resort to six or seven rate hikes to tame the 40-year high inflation that the US is currently experiencing. However, Dimon didn’t specify if he believed all these rate hikes should take place in 2022.

 

Can oil finally hit US $100 per barrel as predicted?

Several big banks, including Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), predict that oil could hit $100 per barrel in 2022 or 2023.

Oil is currently in a solid position, trading between US $80 and US$90 a barrel and not far off the US $100 forecast.

Without OPEC committing to any significant increase in oil output, it looks unlikely that the price of oil will fall without a demand reduction. Yet, even with the possibility of new covid variants emerging or tightening monetary policy of some nation’s central banks, OPEC is confident in predicting that oil demand will grow by 4.2 million barrels per day over 2022.