With the war in Ukraine raging on, COVID continues to surge in China, and the Federal Reserve raises interest rates this week for the first time since 2018, world stocks fell internationally for a fourth consecutive session. 

During midday London trading today, Euro STOXX dropped 1.1%, France’s CAC 40 was 1.1% weaker, and Britain’s FTSE was 0.8% lower. U.S. stock futures were up 0.2%.

“The forthcoming Fed and BOE meetings are seeing equities under pressure as the markets anticipate that central banks will continue to focus on bearing down on rising inflationary pressures, ignoring the potential need for looser policy against the backdrop of a deteriorating growth outlook,” said Equiti Capital head macroeconomist Stuart Cole. 

According to Bank of America (BoA), 69% of respondents in a monthly fund manager survey expect the European economy to become even weaker over the next year. European stocks had been rebounding in recent sessions, but they remain down sharply in 2022. 

MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had fallen 1.91% and is being led by Chinese stocks. So far this month, the index is down 8.2%.

U.S. crude oil also increased 2.54% to $100.44 per barrel. Brent crude oil was down 2.27% to $104.42 per barrel. As far as trading in the U.S., oil prices dropped as much as 5.8% as talks about Ukraine became positive, easing concerns about major supply distribution disruptions.

In China, COVID numbers continue to spike as investors fear the outbreak will hurt the country’s economic growth in the first quarter.

“China’s growth in the first quarter could be closer to zero than 5.5%. That’s a ripple effect. There’s Ukraine, the risk of U.S. sanctions on China, and rising Chinese domestic COVID cases – it does not look good,” said Hong Bao, BOCOM International’s head of research.