— US inflation accelerated to 7% annualized rate in Dec., the highest level since 1982; Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank is committed to fighting inflation by raising interest rates and ending monthly bond purchases.
— China unexpectedly cut its key interest rate, the first drop since the pandemic began, as its economy slows due to regulatory reform, real estate concerns and resurgence of Covid-19.
— There were 19% fewer US homes for sale in Dec. 2021 than Dec. 2020, and sales were down 11% from a year ago on limited inventory and record high prices.
— US consumer sentiment fell to 10-year low (68.6 on a key index), on worries about inflation and the Omicron variant of Covid.
— Oil and gas prices in Europe rose 5.3% and 8.8%, respectively, last week as the intensifying Ukraine-Russia tensions sparked supply shortage concerns.
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