World stocks were steady and U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower open on Wall Street on the last trading day of 2022, but equities are on course for a 20% drop over a year marred by high inflation and war in Europe.
The dollar, a beneficiary of rising U.S. interest rates, was on track for its best annual performance in seven years.
The Federal Reserve and other central banks have been raising rates to fight inflation in the face of supply chain issues and an energy crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and oil producer Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This has been very much a Fed-driven equity market throughout the year,” said David Bizer, managing partner at investment manager Global Customized Wealth.
“The market has been trying to anticipate when the Fed is going to hike, how fast and how far.”
The data suggested Fed hikes might be starting to cool demand for labour. Markets anticipate the fed funds rate peaking near 5% in the middle of next year, from the current 4.25-4.5%.