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US Banks Warn of Recession as Inflation Hurts Consumers Stocks Fall By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen in the windows of the JP Morgan offices in Canary Wharf, London on September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

By Saeed Azhar and Noor Zainab Hussain

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The largest U.S. banks are bracing for a downturn in the economy next year as inflation threatens consumer demand, executives said on Tuesday.

Consumers and businesses are doing well, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: NYSE), told CNBC, but noted that may not last for much longer as the economy slows and inflation erodes consumer spending power.

“Those things could derail the economy and cause this moderate to severe recession that people are concerned about,” he said.

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He told CNBC that consumers have $1.5 trillion in excess savings from pandemic stimulus programs, but they could run out some time in the middle of 2023. Dimon also said the Fed could pause for three to six months after raising benchmark interest rates to 5%, But this may “not be enough” to rein in high inflation.

The US central bank last month raised interest rates by 75 basis points during its fourth consecutive meeting to 3.75%-4%, but also signaled hopes of switching to smaller increases as soon as at its next meeting.

Major bank stocks fell sharply the next day after a group of senior bankers outlined risks to the economy. Bank of America (NYSE:) stock fell more than 4%. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE::) both fell by more than 2% and Citigroup Inc (NYSE:) fell more than 1%.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told investors at a Goldman Sachs financial conference that the bank’s research shows “negative growth” in the first part of 2023, but that the contraction will be “moderate.”

Moynihan said the lender’s investment banking fees will likely fall 55% to 60% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, while trading revenue will likely rise 10% to 15%.

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“Economic growth is slowing,” Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said at the same conference. “When I talk to our customers, they sound very careful.”

He said the job market in the banking sector remains “surprisingly tight” and competition for talent “as tough as ever”.

However, some banks are cutting staff. A source familiar with the company’s plans said Tuesday that Morgan Stanley has cut about 2% of its workforce. The job cuts, first reported by CNBC, affected about 1,600 jobs and track workforce cuts at Goldman and Citigroup.

Elsewhere on Wall Street, BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager (NYSE:) froze hiring except for critical roles, CFO Gary Shedlin said.

“We’re trying to be more prudent,” he said.

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Stocks fluctuate as investors ponder the course of prices

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Next week’s Federal Reserve decision and inflation figures may provide more clarity on interest rates

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Oil prices are falling as US oil supplies fell for the fourth straight week, but product inventories rose sharply

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Oil prices fell on Wednesday, giving up modest early gains, despite US government data showing domestic supplies of crude oil fell by more than 5 million barrels last week, declining for the fourth consecutive week, although gasoline and distillate inventories rose. sharp. .

Fears that more rate hikes by the Federal Reserve could cause markets to stagnate in recent days have sent oil prices down for three consecutive sessions, despite concerns about the impact of a G7 price cap on Russian oil that was imposed. Monday. .

price action
  • WTI January delivery
    CL00,
    -1.89%

    cl.1,
    -1.89%

    CLF23,
    -1.89%

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    It fell 25 cents, or 0.3%, to trade at $74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, it was the final low for the next month’s contract since Dec. 23, 2021, according to market data from Dow Jones.

  • Brent February
    BRN00,
    -1.55%

    BRNG23,
    -1.55%
    And the
    The global index lost 15 cents, or 0.2%, to $79.20 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe platform. Tuesday closed at its lowest level since January 3.

  • Back to Nymex, January gasoline
    RBF23,
    -2.30%

    And it fell 0.8 percent to $ 2.1329 a gallon, while heating oil for the month of January
    HOF23,
    -3.74%

    It traded at $2.8732 a gallon, down 1.5%.

  • Natural gas for the month of January was trading at $5,522 per million British thermal units, up 1%.

display data

On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration reported a fourth consecutive weekly decline in US crude inventories, but both gasoline and distillate inventories rose.

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“If crude stocks continue to decline, they are likely to challenge the general downtrend that has been identified [oil] “Last month’s prices,” said Robbie Fraser, director of global research and analytics at Schneider Electric.

Domestic commercial crude stocks The Energy Information Administration said that a decline of 5.2 million barrels in the week ending in the second of December.

On average, analysts had expected a drop of 2.6 million barrels, according to a survey by S&P Global Commodity Insights. The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group, reported late Tuesday that crude supplies fell by 6.4 million barrels last week, Dow Jones reported, citing a source.

“Continued strength in refining activity and exports has encouraged another pull” for crude supplies, said Matt Smith, principal oil analyst for the Americas at Kpler, in response to the supply data.

With US Strategic Petroleum Reserve transfers slowing, US commercial inventories have declined year-to-date and are “set to decline further in the coming weeks,” he said.

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Still, the EIA showed weekly inventory gains of 5.3 million barrels of gasoline and 6.2 million barrels of distillate. The S&P Global Commodity Insights survey called for an increase of 2.9 million barrels for gasoline and 1.9 million barrels for distillates.

The Energy Information Administration said crude inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery hub for Nymex, fell by 400,000 barrels over the course of the week, while inventories in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve fell by 2.1 million barrels.

other market drivers

China has announced measures to roll back some coronavirus restrictions. Among them is reducing harsh lockdowns and ordering schools with no known infections to resume normal classes, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

“Traders have been looking for more positive news when it comes to China’s zero-tolerance COVID policies,” Naeem Aslam, senior market analyst at AvaTrade, said in a market update.

And now “we’ve heard from those responsible for further easing of these measures,” providing a boost to investor sentiment in Asia — and potentially “spreading that sentiment” to Europe and the US given that China is the world’s second-largest economy, he said.

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But Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, warned that a “COVID tsunami in China is coming as the most populous country is forced off a COVID-free slope”, after backing a “very early way to reopen China” some markets. “It will be a tale of two haves in China, as winter oil prices and coronavirus mobility woes give way to hope for an eternal spring in the second quarter.”

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