US leads global equity sell-off

Global equity markets have come under pressure after US stock markets fell around 4 per cent by the end of trading yesterday. Japan and other Asian markets followed suit, leading European markets to open and remain around 2 per cent down today. Consequently, investors are modestly buying bonds and other safe-haven assets such as gold. The sell-off is largely being attributed to rising inflation expectations that are a result of strong global growth and rising wage inflation. This has raised expectations that central banks, particularly the US Federal Reserve, will hike interest rates at a faster pace throughout 2018. As well as this, after such a sustained bull market in global equities, and with historically low volatility, a short-term setback such as this was widely expected and comes as a relief to many who had worried the global rally was gathering too much momentum.