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Forex Today: Stocks Tumble on Inflation, Ukraine, Chinese Coronavirus Fears

on March 15, 2022
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Forex Today: Stocks Tumble on Inflation, Ukraine, Chinese Coronavirus Fears
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Markets remain spooked by geopolitical and inflation concerns producing falling stock markets, a strong US Dollar, and a weak Japanese Yen.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is well into its third week, with the Russian advance stalled and the US warning China off providing Russia with military equipment and economic assistance to help with its war in Ukraine and against western sanctions. China has denied having any such plan. Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine will continue today.Stock markets closed lower yesterday almost everywhere, with especially dramatic falls seen in China as the country begins coronavirus lockdowns which are interfering with key corporate operations, threatening global supply chains. The S&P 500 Index yesterday made its first death cross / bear cross since the initial coronavirus shock of 2020, with the 50-day moving average closing below the 200-day moving average, which is seen by many as a key signal of an impending bear market.


The Forex market is dominated by a strong US Dollar and weak Japanese Yen, with the New Zealand and Australian Dollars also falling. The USD/JPY currency pair continues to rise strongly to new 5-year high prices and looks likely to rise higher still as it trades into blue sky above 118.00. There are no obvious resistance levels below 119.00. The US Dollar is very strong, boosted by the anticipated start of a rate hiking cycle at Wednesday’s FOMC meeting, and rising US treasury yields which see the 10 year yield just a whisker under 2%.There will be a release of US PPI data later today, which will be watched closely for hints on next month’s US CPI (inflation) rate.The Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes of its most recent meeting, which revealed concerns over inflation and an expectation it would increase further over the coming months due to unresolved supply chain issues. The minutes did not hint at any policy change. The Australian Dollar is weak but was not affected by the release.Daily new coronavirus cases globally rose last week for the first time since January, suggesting that the omicron variant wave is not ready to disappear yet.Hong Kong is seeing a dramatic, record-breaking increase in coronavirus deaths, with more than 65% of over-80s unvaccinated amid a dramatic spread of infection. Hong Kong is currently recording a case fatality rate of more than 4.5%. The spread of the coronavirus on mainland China has triggered the government to impose lockdowns which are affecting tens of millions of citizens and forcing some companies to halt operations, endangering crucial supply chains.It is estimated that 63.6% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 460.2 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.32%.The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing only in Australia, Austria, Bhutan, Cyprus, China, Finland, Germany, Greece, South Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Tonga, Switzerland, Tunisia, the UK, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

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