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Grocery Shortage in USA Deepens Amid COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens, the grocery shortage in the United States worsens as demand continues to surge amid escalating freight & delivery costs, and labor shortages caused by the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. As a result, shelves of major supermarkets & retailers in the U.S. remain empty of essentials such as fresh & processed foods.


The central bank of China announced that it shall lower its interest rates for loans to some financial institutions, by 10 basis points to a rate of 2.85%. The initiative from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) among other activities were the key drivers for China’s rebound from the 2021 pandemic-fueled downturn of the Asian nation.

Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said that Japan will issue government bonds (JGBs) in the next year worth 215 trillion yen, which is around $1.89 trillion. The move is an initiative to bolster the economy, after it saw bonds worth $1.96 trillion issued this year due to the nation’s stimulus efforts in battling COVID-19.


The U.S. dollar remained solid amid higher U.S. Treasury yields and collective expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates as early as March, and China slashing borrowing costs in efforts to aid its COVID-struck economy. The dollar index, compared to a basket of six other currencies, inched 0.03% higher to 95.185.


Gold futures edge higher, driven by higher U.S. Treasury yields amid the Federal Reserve’s hawkish signals regarding interest rate and policy tightening. Despite a solid dollar greenback, which typically weighs down on the safe haven as their price movements are inversed, the bullion edged 0.18% higher to $1,819 per ounce.


Crude oil prices continue to trade higher as investors believe that oil supply will remain constricted as major producing economies are not producing as per capacity due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Brent futures jumped 0.33% to $86.34 a barrel, while WTI oil escalated 0.44% to $83.67 per barrel.


USA: S&P500 +0.08%, Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.56%, Nasdaq Composite +0.75%

Europe: FTSE 100 -0.28%, DAX -0.93%, CAC 40 -0.81%

Asia: Nikkei 225 +0.74%, Hang Seng -0.68%, CSI 300 +0.93%, Nifty 50 +0.20%

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