The big event for markets in the week ahead will be the US Federal Reserve’s meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, with investors hoping for more guidance on the bank’s monetary policies.

Amid concerns over inflation and geopolitical risks, it is expected that central banks will tighten their monetary policies more rapidly, a move which continues to negatively affect the investor risk perception.

Additionally, the increasing tensions between Russia, the US and NATO due to Ukraine have caused volatility in the stock markets.

Stocks on Friday closed out their worst week since 2020, with the Nasdaq plummeting 7.6%, its worst performance since March 2020. The S&P 500 ended the week at 4,397, down 5.7%.

All European markets closed last week with loses as well.

The STOXX Europe 600, which includes around 90% of the market capitalization of the European market in 17 countries, dropped 8.91 points, or 1.84%, to 474.44.

The UK’s FTSE 100 index ended at 7,494.13, down 90.88 points, or 1.2%.

In the Eurozone, the composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) decreased by 0.9 points to 52.4 points in January due to the fast spreading omicron variant of COVID-19, according to international financial research organization IHS Markit.

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, chief business economist, at IHS Markit said: “The omicron wave has led to yet another steep drop in spending on many consumer-facing services at the start of the year, with tourism, travel and recreation especially hard hit.”

However, he added, so far the overall impact on the wider economy appears relatively muted, and most encouraging is the further easing of manufacturing supply chain delays despite the renewed virus wave.

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