The charts that matter: the Fed springs a surprise

As the US Federal Reserve turns hawkish on inflation, we look at how that’s affected the charts that matter most to the global economy.

Welcome back.

In this week’s magazine, we examine the shaky foundations of the internet, starkly demonstrated the other week when huge chunks of it went offline after an obscure but vital company’s customer changed their preferences. We also look at how to invest in stem cell technology – the “building blocks of the body” that will revolutionise medicine – and pick the best bets in the sector.

No star guest for this week’s podcast, but Merryn is joined by John to talk about all things inflation. What’s causing it? Is it a temporary blip? What can you do to combat it? And there’s a very interesting story about how we came to decide that 2% was the target to aim for. It might surprise you – find out all about it here.

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This week’s “Too Embarrassed To Ask” looks at sovereign bonds – what they are and how they work. You can watch that here.

Here are the links for this week’s editions of Money Morning and other web articles you may have missed:

Now for the charts of the week.

The charts that matter

Gold saw a sudden drop after the US Federal Reserve came out as more aggressive on inflation than many expected.

Gold price chart

(Image credit: Gold price chart)

(Gold: three months)

The US dollar index (DXY – a measure of the strength of the dollar against a basket of the currencies of its major trading partners) responded to the prospect of higher interest rates by climbing sharply.

US dollar currency chart

(Image credit: US dollar currency chart)

(DXY: three months)

But it doesn’t seem to have affected the Chinese yuan (or renminbi) much (when the red line is rising, the dollar is strengthening while the yuan is weakening).

USD/CNY currency chart

(Image credit: USD/CNY currency chart)

(Chinese yuan to the US dollar: since 25 Jun 2019)

The yield on the ten-year US government bond recovered from last week’s big drop.

US Treasury bond yield chart

(Image credit: US Treasury bond yield chart)

(Ten-year US Treasury yield: three months)

The yield on the Japanese ten-year bond turned back up, too.

Japanese government bond yield chart

(Image credit: Japanese government bond yield chart)

(Ten-year Japanese government bond yield: three months)

And the yield on the ten-year German Bund headed back up toward positive territory, though remained negative.

German bond yield chart

(Image credit: German bond yield chart)

(Ten-year Bund yield: three months)

Copper fell sharply. Could this be the end of the commodities bull run already? Probably not, says Dominic – though metals certainly aren’t looking too hot.

Copper price chart

(Image credit: Copper price chart)

(Copper: nine months)

The closely-related Aussie dollar followed the copper price down.

AUD/USD currency chart

(Image credit: AUD/USD currency chart)

(Aussie dollar vs US dollar exchange rate: three months)

Bitcoin is trading in a range – waiting to do something spectacular, no doubt. Saloni had a look at an eventful week for the cryptocurrency in our new crypto-roundup. Read that here.

Bitcoin price chart

(Image credit: Bitcoin price chart)

(Bitcoin: three months)

US weekly initial jobless claims rose for the first time in a long while, climbing 37,000 to 412,000, compared to 375,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell by 8,000 to 395,000 from 403,000 the week before.

US initial jobless claims chart

(Image credit: US initial jobless claims chart)

(US initial jobless claims, four-week moving average: since Jan 2020)

The oil price kept on climbing. One commodity that’s still definitely in a bull market.

Brent crude oil price chart

(Image credit: Brent crude oil price chart)

(Brent crude oil: three months)

Amazon continued its big climb.

Amazon share price chart

(Image credit: Amazon share price chart)

(Amazon: three months)

Tesla, however, just drifted sideways.

Tesla share price chart

(Image credit: Tesla share price chart)

(Tesla: three months)

Have a great weekend.

Ben Judge

Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website,, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.

Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.