US Inflation for February Hits 7.9%, ECB Slows Asset Purchases


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US inflation numbers hit 7.9% in February, up from 7.5% the month before, and in line with expectations. Bitcoin (BTC) immediately jumped higher on the news, before later reversing lower again.

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“The 12-month increase has been steadily rising and is now the largest since the period ending January 1982. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.4 percent, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982,” the US Bureau of Labor Statistics wrote.

At 13:40 UTC, BTC stood at USD 39,300, nearly unchanged during the first 10 minutes after the figure was released, while ethereum (ETH) traded at USD 2,600, also unchanged for the first 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the price of gold reversed losses from earlier today, trading up by 0.2% over the same time period to once again move above the key USD 2,000 mark to USD 2,006.

The US inflation figure was released after the European Central Bank said that its bond purchase program would be reduced sooner than previously expected, citing the inflationary pressures that the war in Ukraine has caused on the European continent.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a watershed for Europe,” the ECB’s statement said. 

It added that the central bank will “take whatever action is needed to fulfil the ECB’s mandate to pursue price stability and to safeguard financial stability.”

Notably, the ECB also removed a mention from its statement that said interest rates could go lower than their current level. It added that changes to the interest rate would come “some time after” bond purchases had been phased out completely.

The euro responded to the news by moving up versus the US dollar immediately after the statement was issued.

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Meanwhile, commenting ahead today’s release of US inflation figures, Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at UK-based crypto broker GlobalBlock, said that a fall across all global markets could be seen if inflation in the US continues to come in above expectations.

“A higher than expected reading could lead to a further fall in global markets, as investors may price in aggressive monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. A lower than expected reading may have an opposite effect,” Sotiriou said in a comment shared with Cryptonews.com.

Other analysts, meanwhile, said high inflation has now lasted for much longer than expected.

“We thought that inflation would come down, especially due to the untangling of the global supply chain, but we don’t know how what’s happening in Ukraine will re-tangle that,” Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics, told the Wall Street Journal.

A high figure also appears to have been expected from President Joe Biden’s administration. Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said yesterday they “[…] expect to see a high headline inflation in tomorrow’s February inflation data,” with “a key reason” being higher energy prices.

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Learn more: 
– Ukraine War: How Russian Aggression Could Derail the Fragile World Economy
– With War Starting and Markets Dropping, Questions Multiply About Central Banks’ Policies

– As Inflation Is Here to Stay, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Gold Investors Will Win, But Brace for Volatility – BitMEX
– Supply Disruptions Add to Inflation, Undermine Recovery in Europe


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