Financial Markets Update – 21/9/2018

US

  • US equities had a positive session yesterday, closing at fresh all-time highs. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, with Technology and Consumer Staples stocks contributing the most gains.
  • On today’s agenda, the reclassification of the sectors in the US S&P Index, in which companies such as Google, Facebook and Netflix, all currently classified within the Technology sector, are set be to reclassified as Communication Technologies. Amazon, also currently classified as a Technology company, will reclassified within the Consumer Discretionary sector.

 

Europe

  • European equities also closed higher yesterday amid decreasing concerns over global trade. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 1%, the German DAX index rose 0.9% and the French CAC settled 1.1% higher.
  • On the economic data front, Eurozone, German and French PMI data is set to be released this morning.

 

Asia

  • A strong end to the week in Asian overnight. Chinese equities gained 1.9%, with gains broad-based across sectors, and Japanese stocks settled 0.8% stronger.

Market Performance:

Financial Markets – 12/9/2018

US

  • US stocks extended their positive start to the week, rising 0.4% yesterday. Telecoms and Energy were the primary outperformers for the session, while Tech stocks also extended gains after recent weakness.
  • On the agenda for the day, Apple is set to hold a big event at its new headquarters where it’s expected to announce several new products.
  • Energy rose 1%, benefiting from a sharp rise in oil. Crude prices gained 2.2% on the back of US sanctions on Iranian crude exports, and as the US east coast braces for a major hurricane.

 

Europe

  • Stocks in Europe finished mixed yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.1%, the German DAX fell 0.1% and the French CAC settled 0.3% higher.
  • Basic resources and autos were the biggest fallers Tuesday amid continued concerns of a trade war between the US and China. Conversely, oil and gas stocks outperformed as oil prices rose.

 

Asia

  • A muted session in Asia overnight. Japanese stocks fell 0.2% and Chinese equities settled 0.1% lower.

Financial Markets Update – 21/8/2018

US

  • US. stocks and Treasuries rose yesterday as traders held onto hopes for an easing of the trade war and await clues from a meeting of central bankers later this week.
  • The S&P 500 Index edged higher for a third day, rising 0.2%, led by companies in the consumer-discretionary sector.
  • The 10-year Treasury yield declined after respected bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach warned of a short squeeze.
  • The dollar remained mixed against peers after President Donald Trump said he expected Jerome Powell to be a cheap-money Fed Chairman.
  • In economic news, investors will be closely watching this week’s Jackson Hole symposium for clues on monetary policy, and to see whether central bankers can do anything to help bring back stability after the recent bout of emerging market-led volatility.

 

Europe

  • European stocks rose 0.6%, buoyed by hopes of easing tariffs ahead of a U.S. visit by China’s Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen this week for the first significant trade negotiations between the two countries in more than two months.
  • Meanwhile, Turkey’s woes show no signs of abating with its credit rating downgraded further late Friday and shots fired around the U.S. embassy.
  • There’s a silver lining from Turkey’s recent turbulence for European shares: the euro’s recent weakness may be a lift to future earnings, with its year-on-year change turning negative recently.

 

Asia

  • China’s benchmark stock index, extended gains Tuesday and headed for its biggest two-day advance in four weeks. The gain of 1.3% came as state-backed funds stepped in Monday to buy shares, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, sparking the rally.
  • Japanese stocks gained 0.1%, as Telecoms and banks weakness dragged on gains from chemicals and drugmakers.

 

Financial Market Update – 8/8/2018

US

  • US. stocks edged higher, rising 0.3%, pushing their winning streak to four days amid a relative cooling of protectionist rhetoric between the world’s two largest economies and optimism growth can continue.
  • Tesla Inc. gained after Elon Musk proposed taking the company private. The news dominated an otherwise quiet afternoon session on Wall Street, with investors speculating on how serious the chief executive is about what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history. It overshadowed a strong end phase of an earnings season that’s seen most major U.S. companies surprise to the upside.
  • In economic news, The Job Openings and Labour Turnover (JOLT) Survey for June showed further tightening in the labour market, consistent with upward revisions to payroll gains in the most recent employment report last week.

 

Europe

  • European equities gained 0.6% as miners took the lead on speculation secondary metal processors cut production and expectations for higher railway investment in China. Sentiment toward the world’s second-largest economy improved this week on optimism the Chinese government will help cushion any economic risks arising from new U.S. tariffs.
  • Top performing sectors, Basic Resources and Energy gained 1.7% and 1.6% respectively followed by the Industrials sector which gained 0.8%.

 

Asia

  • Equities in Asia were weak overnight. Chinese equities fell 1.1% while Japanese equities rose just 0.1%.

Financial Market Update – 31/7/2018

US

  • US stocks began the week on a soft note as Technology shares extended recent losses. The S&P 500 settled 0.6% lower, with Technology stocks declining 1.8%.
  • Trade concerns also were in the spotlight following reports that several countries – Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico and South Korea –  will meet next week to discuss a response to comments made by President Donald Trump about imposing tariffs on US auto imports.
  • Attention will turn today to the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting. Consensus is expecting no near-term change to interest rates but will likely look for clues on the central bank’s path toward normalizing policy.

 

Europe

  • European equities also traded lower Monday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.4%, the German DAX index lost 0.5% and the French CAC settled 0.4% lower.
  • In earnings news, Heineken shares declined 6.5% after reporting lower-than-expected results for its second quarter, cutting its margin outlook for the year.

 

Asia

  • Japanese shares closed marginally higher overnight following the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting decision to leave interest rates unchanged.
  • The Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers index –  a gauge of manufacturing activity – declined to 51.2 in July from 51.5 in June, coming in marginally lower than consensus expectations of 51.3.

 


Financial Markets Update – 26/7/2018

US

  • US. equities gained 0.9% yesterday, after it was reported Donald Trump reached an agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker aimed at averting a trade war. The two sides agreed to expand European imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas and soybeans and lower industrial tariffs on both sides.
  • The US 10-Year Treasury yield fell to 2.96% on the news, and the dollar steadied against the Euro.
  • In stock specific news, Facebook shares were weak after hours indicating that they would open down 20% today after reporting mixed 2Q18 results. Facebook is not a holding in any of the Goodbody Asset Management Funds.

 

Europe

  • European equities declined 0.4% on Wednesday ahead of a last-ditch meeting in Washington between U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to avoid a trade war.
  • Automobile stocks, to be among the hardest-hit if threatened tariffs aren’t circumvented, were the worst performers, with the sector closing down 2.9%.
  • The ECB’s policy decision comes later today. Market pricing suggests no deposit rate increase until at least December 2019, so any nod to sooner may boost the Euro and depress bonds. Investors will also focus on any potential shift in reinvestments after the QE program ends this year.

 

Asia

  • Asian market extended its gain for a third day after the U.S. and EU agreed to suspend new tariffs, lifting investor sentiment.
  • Japanese stocks were broadly flat and Chinese equities fell 0.8% yesterday.

 

Financial Market Update – 25/7/2018

US

  • US. equity benchmarks finished the day mostly higher, led by technology and health-care companies, while China’s efforts to support its economy spurred interest in higher-risk assets across Asia. The dollar slipped and 10-year Treasuries gained.
  • The S&P 500 Index rose for the second straight day, gaining 0.5%, as positive earnings news overcame traders’ anxieties about simmering trade disputes.
  • Google parent Alphabet Inc. anchored the market’s advance early in the session after it beat analysts’ estimates.  Exxon Mobil and Chevron also gained as oil advanced 0.5%, ahead of data on U.S. inventories.
  • In economic news, US GDP data will be released on Friday. Consensus economists’ forecasts is for gross domestic product to increase by about 4.2% at an annualized rate in the second quarter, the most since 2014.

 

Europe

  • European equities gained 0.8%, one of the largest daily moves in the month. Carmakers and banks were among the biggest winners, as PSA Group said subsidiary Opel turned a profit and Swiss Bank, UBS, posted better-than-forecast results.
  • In economic news, the euro-area composite PMI survey was released yesterday and indicated that the bloc’s economy has strengthened from the slight moderation seen at the start of the year, though there’s little chance of a return to the heady rates of expansion posted in 2017.
  • The European Central Bank will hold its next policy meeting tomorrow. Strengthening economic data should keep the central bank on track to finish its asset purchases in December and begin a tightening cycle the following September.

 

Asia

  • Japanese stocks advanced to the highest level in more than five weeks, following a rally in U.S. equities as strong results boosted investor sentiment.
  • Chinese equities retreated 0.2%, stalling after a three-day rally propelled by signs of a shift toward stimulus. The yuan was little changed after dropping to the weakest against the dollar in more than a year Tuesday.

Financial Market – 23/7/2018

US

  • US equities were down slightly on Friday while yields on Treasuries climbed the most since May as Trump reiterated that he’s unhappy with the Federal Reserve tightening after the administration has worked so hard to grow the economy.
  • The US dollar weakened the most since March, after President Donald Trump’s latest verbal salvos fanned investor concern that a global trade war is escalating.

 

Europe

  • European stocks declined, led by the auto sector, as Trump said a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods was “ready to go” and that China and the European Union were manipulating their currencies.
  • The president’s remarks indicate his willingness to escalate America’s trade war with China, dashing hopes the two sides would arrive at a compromise before more tariffs were imposed. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU is ready to retaliate against any U.S. auto tariffs as it prepares to meet with Trump to discuss the possibility of cutting car duties.

 

Asia

  • Japanese stocks fell today after the yen strengthened amid global trade tensions and speculation the Bank of Japan is debating a policy shift. The yen climbed and Japanese government bonds slid on speculation that the Bank of Japan may debate some fine tuning in its stimulus policy.
  • Chinese equities gained 0.9% overnight, adding to gains from the previous session amid signs of intervention from Chinese authorities looking to stem the currency’s weakness.

 


Financial Markets – 20/7/2018

US

  • Stocks fell on Thursday amid a negative session for Bank shares and criticism of the Federal Reserve by President Trump. The S&P 500 settled 0.4% lower.
  • In a televised interview, President Trump said he was not happy that the Fed was raising rates – “I’m not happy about it…but at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best.” US bond yields traded 3 basis points lower (prices rose) for the session.
  • Bank shares fell in tandem with the decline in bond yields, dragging the Financials sector down 1.4%.

 

Europe

  • European equities also closed lower yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.4%, the German DAX index lost 0.6% and the French CAC settled 0.5% lower.
  • Basic resources were among the primary underperformers, following 1.6%. Persistent concerns about the growth rate of the Chinese economy led to weakness across commodity-sensitive companies.

 

Asia

  • Stocks ended the week on a mixed note in Asia overnight. Japanese equites closed marginally lower, while Chinese stocks gained 2% amid signs of intervention from Chinese authorities looking to stem the currency’s weakness.

Financial Market Headlines – 18/7/2018

US

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.4% yesterday as gains in Materials and Technology stocks offset losses elsewhere.
  • Technology stocks initially traded lower in the session following a disappointing earnings report from Netflix. Netflix shares dropped 15% at one point before rebounding throughout the day to settle 5% lower. Amazon shares touched a fresh all-time high.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave a positive assessment of the US economy during his semi-annual congressional testimony, indicating that gradual interest rate increases were warranted.

 

Europe

  • European equities also closed higher yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.2%, the German DAX index rose 0.8% and the French CAC settled 0.2% higher.
  • In the UK, the pound pared losses after PM Theresa May won a close vote over pro-Europe Tories who want the option of staying in the EU’s customs union.
  • On the economic data front, UK and Euro-Area inflation data is due to be released today.

 

Asia

  • Asian stocks traded mixed overnight. Japanese equities gained 0.4% while their Chinese counterparts settled marginally lower.

Equity/Bond/Currency & Commodity Market Performance

Market Headlines – 21/5/2018

 

  • US stocks closed marginally lower on Friday as ongoing trade negotiations between the US and China weighed on sentiment. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% as losses in Financials and Energy offset gains elsewhere.
  • Semiconductor stocks were among the primary underperformers as weak guidance from Applied Materials, a maker of equipment used to produce chips, weighed on the sector.
  • Bond yields remained in focus as the US 10 year traded above 3.1% for the first time since 2011 and the 2 year bond touched its highest level in a decade. US yields settled at 3.08% on Friday.

 

  • European equities also closed lower amid trade concerns. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.5%, the German DAX index lost 0.3% and the French CAC settled 0.1% lower.
  • Futures indicate a positive open in the region of +0.4% this morning following comments from US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that the US was “putting the trade war on hold” amid progress in talks with China.
  • In currency markets, the euro touched fresh lows for the year after Italy’s two populist parties agreed on a prime minister.

 

  • Asian markets began the week on a positive note this morning. Japanese stocks gained 0.3% and Chinese stocks settled 0.5% higher.

Market Performance:


Market Headlines – 8/5/2018

US

  • US. stocks edged higher following a spate of mergers and acquisitions while the dollar climbed to the strongest level this year.
  • Tech shares were the best performers in the U.S., lifting the S&P 500 Index.
  • Oil gained, rising 1.7%, following speculation the U.S. may pull out of a nuclear accord with Iran, escalating tensions in the Middle East and potentially disrupting supplies from that OPEC producer. President Donald Trump is scheduled to announce his decision on Tuesday.

 

Europe

  • European stocks ended higher on Monday in a quiet session as the U.K. market remained closed for a public holiday, with a renewed dip in the euro fuelling expectations that currency headwinds for the region’s exporters are set to ease.
  • European equities closed up 0.4% the highest closing level since early February. The euro slipped below $1.19 versus the dollar, falling to levels not seen since late December.

 

Asia

  • Asian stocks gained Tuesday, extending a gradual recovery after declines in recent weeks stoked by concerns about the vulnerabilities of emerging-markets in the face of higher U.S. yields, a stronger dollar and costlier energy prices.

Market Headlines – 4/5/2018

US

  • US equities rallied into the close, settling 0.2% lower after having been down as much as 1.6% earlier in the session. Materials and Technology were among the best performing sectors on the day.
  • US-Chinese trade talks came back into focus yesterday – Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are among US officials participating in the trade meetings with China.
  • Attention today will turn to the health of the US economy, with jobs data and wage growth due to be released. Consensus is expecting the US economy to have added ~190,000 jobs last month and for the unemployment rate to have dropped to 4.0%

 

Europe

  • European equities closed lower yesterday as markets assessed inflation data and the prospect of trade talks between the US and China. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.7%, the German DAX index lost 0.9% and the French CAC settled 0.5% lower.
  • On the data front, euro zone inflation unexpectedly declined in April, raising questions about the European Central Bank’s plan to scale back its stimulus program.

 

Asia

  • Japanese markets are closed again today for a public holiday.
  • Elsewhere, Asian markets settled marginally lower ahead of the release of the US jobs report.

 

Market Headlines – 27/4/2018

US

  • US. equities rose, gaining 1%, with technology shares rallying after strong earnings from Facebook Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. offered a reprieve for bulls.
  • Rate-sensitive shares advanced as the 10-year yield fell below 3% falling for the first time in nine days.

 

Europe

  • European stocks gained 0.6%, as a retreat in the euro fuelled hopes of fewer currency headwinds for the region’s corporate profits.
  • Defensive bond-proxy sectors including food and beverage, telecoms and utilities were among the biggest gainers as government bond yields fell.
  • At the ECB press conference yesterday, Mario Draghi’s remarks suggested the European Central Bank is comfortable with the outlook for growth, while acknowledging that a little momentum has been lost. Draghi’s caution on recent growth trends was tempered by an unchanged confidence in the convergence of inflation toward the ECB’s aim. In short, the ECB seems fairly relaxed about the near-term outlook suggesting the central bank remains on track to bring asset purchases to an end this year.

 

Asia

  • Asian stocks gained as the latest bout of earnings results buoyed sentiment in the technology sector and traders kept an eye on the historic meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea.

Market Headlines – 24/4/2018

US

  • US. stocks were little changed, with the S&P 500 ending the day virtually flat amid the slowest trading this year.
  • In currency news the dollar rose to its highest level in more than three months as the prospect of yields on benchmark U.S. Treasuries reaching 3% reignited demand. The greenback strengthened against major peers as the yield on the U.S. 10-year note hit 2.99 % for the first time since 2014 before paring the increase.

 

Europe

  • European equities advanced 0.5% with Insurance and Banking stocks leading the gains.
  • In other news, economic momentum in the euro area kept a steady pace in April after softening earlier in the year, in a sign that growth in the region is set to continue albeit at a slower pace. A composite Purchasing Managers’ Index remained unchanged at 55.2. Economists predicted a decline to 54.8. While activity in services picked up, growth in manufacturing slowed to the weakest in more than a year.
  • Economic news is a key focus this week as the European Central Bank has a rate decision on Thursday. Investors will watch for any sign that officials are preparing a shift in stimulus plans for their June meeting.

 

Asia

  • Equities in Japan rose reaching at the highest in almost two months following declines in the yen.
  • Chinese shares advanced on signs the government is moving to ease some policies that it had sought to rein in a credit binge in some parts of the economy.

Market Performance:

 

Market Headlines – 18/4/2018

US

  • US stocks continued their strong start to the week. The S&P 500 rose 1.1%, with Technology and Consumer Discretionary stocks contributing the most gains.
  • Healthy corporate profits were the primary catalyst behind the positive session for equities. Netflix Q1 earnings garnered most attention after it reported better than expected subscriber growth. Shares rose 9.2%.
  • On the economic data front, housing starts rebounded in March, totalling 1.319 million, coming in ahead of expectations and providing a further boost to sentiment.

 

Europe

  • European equities also had a strong session yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 1.1%, the German DAX index rose 1.6% and the French CAC settled 0.8% higher.
  • In FX markets, the UK’s sterling reaches its highest level since the country voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. During the session, sterling rose as high as $1.4376, before settling down at $1.4301 at Europe’s close.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities followed the lead of their US and European counterparts overnight. Japanese stocks gained 1.6%, with all sectors finishing in positive territory.

Market Headlines – 13/4/2018

US

  • U.S. stocks advanced, and Treasuries retreated as President Donald Trump said he’s considering re-joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal he pulled out of shortly after taking office.
  • Trump also said that a decision on any military retaliation in Syria will come “fairly soon,” one day after he tweeted a warning to “get ready” for a missile attack.
  • In addition, Trump defused some of the trade war chatter with China, saying that the two countries may not end up levying new tariffs on each other following conciliatory remarks on Tuesday by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
  • Banks and finance firms were among the biggest gainers after asset management giant BlackRock Inc. reported first-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates.

 

Europe

  • European stocks gained for the third time this week as investors’ concerns over a conflict in the Middle East cooled and the euro’s drop supported exporters.
  • Equities advanced 0.7% after U.S. President Donald Trump hinted that military action in Syria may not be imminent and Russian leaders reined in their war rhetoric.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese stocks rose, notching a third weekly advance, the longest winning streak this year, after U.S. President Donald Trump dialed back the tone of his rhetoric on trade and Syria. Chinese equities fell 0.7%.

 


Market Headlines – 11/4/2018

US

  • US stocks closed sharply higher yesterday following a speech from Chinese President Xi that eased trade concerns. The S&P 500 traded 1.7% higher with gains broad based across sectors.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed plans to further open up the country’s economy, with measures including lowering import tariffs on autos, enforcing legal intellectual property of foreign groups and reducing duties on other consumer products.
  • Energy stocks were among the best performers Tuesday, tracking oil prices strong 3.5% gain.
  • US consumer price inflation data is likely to be the main area of focus for markets today. The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting are also set to be released.

 

Europe

  • European equities also received a boost from easing trade concerns. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.7%, the German DAX index rose 1.1% and the French CAC settled 0.8% higher.
  • Basic Resources companies, who have sizeable exposure to Chinese demand, were also among the best performers in Europe, rising 3%.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities were more mixed overnight following strong gains in the previous session. Japanese stocks fell 0.5% while Chinese equities settled higher.

Market Performance:

Market Headlines – 9/4/2018

US

  • The S&P 500 Index fell more than 2% and all 30 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated as President Donald Trump ordered a review of additional tariffs that prompted an aggressive response from China.
  • Attempts by White House officials to tone down concerns failed to calm nerves, with the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) back above 21. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added to the anxiety by saying there’s a “level of risk” the spat could worsen.
  • The tensions overshadowed the latest U.S. jobs report, which showed hiring cooled by more than forecast in March. Payrolls have a track record of falling shy of consensus estimates in March. Despite this, the latest report still came in weak relative to the underlying trend.

 

Europe

  • European equities declined for a third session in four days amid a renewed focus on trade tensions between the U.S. and China after notching their biggest gain in 21 months Thursday.
  • Automaker and mining shares lead declines as defensive utilities shares were the strongest industry group in Europe.

 

Asia

  • Japanese stocks advanced as investors bought domestic demand-related shares that are less vulnerable to trade friction after the U.S. administration defended its threats to impose tariffs on Chinese imports. Chinese equities were relatively unchanged falling 0.1%.

Market Headlines – 21/3/2018

US

  • US. stocks edged higher, led by energy-related companies, as equity markets shrugged off weakness in technology and threats of global trade barriers.
  • Crude advanced to a three-week high as the OPEC-led alliance of major oil producers accelerated the time line for curbing a worldwide supply glut, helping to lift the shares of companies such as Hess Corp. and Marathon Petroleum Corp.
  • Facebook Inc.’s mounting Cambridge Analytica data issues continued to weigh on tech stock sentiment and draw the ire of politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • The March Federal Open Market Committee meeting will be held later today. The meeting will be Jerome Powell’s first as Federal Reserve chairman. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, with the focus on whether officials will project faster tightening for the rest of the year.

 

Europe

  • European stocks gained for the first time this week as energy companies rallied with oil, offsetting weakness in telecom firms.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight Chinese equities declined 0.3%. Japanese equity markets are closed for a holiday.

Market Headlines – 13/3/2018

US

  • Stocks gave up early gains Monday as uncertainty over the prospect of tariffs undid some of the market’s recent job-driven advances.
  • The S&P 500 Index rallied 3.5% last week, with the biggest gains coming after a labour market report underscored economic strength that gave fresh impetus to the nine-year-old bull market in global equities.
  • Investor focus today will be on the latest U.S. inflation report to be released this afternoon. The importance of inflation data relates to Federal Reserve policy and whether it would offer clues on the pace of tightening.
  • Other important economic releases this week will be Chinese industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment Wednesday.

 

Europe

  • European stocks advanced for a sixth session, the longest streak of gains since October, as a rally in utilities offset losses in industrial shares.
  • Uncertainty remains for Italian politics as the acting leader of Italy’s ruling Democratic Party rejected approaches from both the centre-right and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement to strike a deal. The Democratic Party is in a position to form a majority with either of the two main groups but is divided on how to respond to approaches from Five Star and from the centre-right which is led by the anti-migrant Northern League.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Chinese shares retreated 0.5% whilst Japanese equities gained 0.7% boosted by electronics makers and services companies.

Market Performance:

Market Headlines – 9/3/2018

US

  • US stocks rose after President Donald Trump announced tariffs that were narrower than some traders had anticipated.
  • The S&P 500 advanced for the fourth time in five days, rising 0.4%, as investors found relief in the president’s decision to exclude Canada and Mexico while giving other countries wiggle room from levies on imports of steel and aluminium.
  • The dollar rose against the euro after the European Central Bank’s decision to drop a pledge to increase asset purchases if necessary, and as President Mario Draghi downplayed the change.

 

Europe

  • European stocks gained 1.1% after Mario Draghi says the improvement in the euro-area economy justifies the ECB’s decision to drop its pledge to expand QE if needed.
  • In policy news, at the ECB meeting yesterday the central bank reiterated its promise to buy more bonds until inflation accelerates. Two additional key takeaways were the elimination of the easing bias of the asset purchase program and the inflation and GDP forecasts which remained broadly stable.
  • The most significant development in the ECB’s monetary policy meeting was the removal of the easing bias of the asset purchase program. Previously, the introductory statement had indicated: “If the outlook becomes less favourable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the asset purchase programme (APP) in terms of size and/or duration.” The deletion of those words is consistent with a gradual shift in the communication of the ECB as it moves toward the exit of quantitative easing.

 

Asia

  • Asian shares climbed after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Trump announced tariffs that were narrower than some traders had anticipated. Japanese equities gained 0.5% while Chinese equities advanced 0.6%.

Market Headlines – 5/3/2018

US

  • The S&P 500 ended the week on a positive note on Friday, closing 0.5% higher. The index had been down as much as 1.1% intraday before a rebound in Healthcare, Consumer Staples and Technology stocks reversed the sell-off.
  • Initial equity market weakness was caused by the announcement of global tariffs on steel and aluminium imports into the US, increasing concerns of a global trade war.
  • In FX markets, the dollar was unnerved by the prospect of heightened trade war concerns, falling 0.9% against the euro to settle at $1.2317. US bond yields also ticked higher (prices fell), with the yield on 10-year issues rising 6bps to 2.87%.

 

Europe

  • European equity markets closed notably lower Friday as the session closed before the rebound in US stocks took hold. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 2.2%, the German DAX index lost 2.3% and the French CAC settled 2.4% lower.
  • The announcement of tariffs from the US government impacted the share prices of several European exporters  – ThyssenKrupp (the German steelmaker) fell more than 4%; Rio Tinto (which exports aluminium to the US from Canada) fell 3.8%; and German carmakers were also unnerved by the potential for tariffs on autos (Volkswagen and Daimler both fell more than 2%).
  • The euro reversed some of Friday’s strong gain this morning as Italy’s anti-establishment groups performed well in Sunday’s election. Early results suggest a hung parliament and a period of protracted negotiations before a government is formed.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities fell on continued concern about the impact of American tariffs on the global economy. Japanese stocks fell 0.7%, with losses concentrated in the Materials sector.

Market Headlines – 28/2/2018

US

  • US. stocks sold off for the first time in three sessions and Treasuries slumped as investors weighed the potential for added interest rate hikes this year following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s assessment that the economy is strengthening and inflation could be gaining speed.
  • Powell’s testimony raised the possibility that the Fed could rethink its plan for three interest rate hikes this year and potentially add a fourth. The 10-year Treasury yield initially spiked on Powell’s seemingly hawkish tone before drifting back below 2.9%.
  • The pace of U.S. monetary policy tightening remains a hot debate on Wall Street, and traders have been betting that Powell won’t seek to shock financial markets by moving toward a more hawkish monetary policy.
  • Fed Governor Randal Quarles made clear on Monday that he thought a sustained period of strong growth might require higher interest rates.

 

Europe

  • European stocks ended a two-day streak of gains as losses in real estate companies offset gains in media firms.
  • Europe’s benchmark has recovered less than half the losses from a selloff that began late January, lagging the rebound in the U.S.

 

Asia

Asian shares dropped for a second day, with energy and material companies leading declines, after Treasuries and U.S. equities fell.

Market Headlines – 27/2/2018

US

  • US. stocks rose to a nearly four-week high as continuing gains in Treasuries pushed yields further below 2.9%, alleviating investor angst that higher rates will accelerate fiscal tightening.
  • The 10-year yield fell for a third straight day, reaching a two-week low.
  • In policy news, Fed Chair Jerome Powell will appear before the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday to discuss the Fed’s Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report and the state of the economy; investors will look for clues on how quickly the Fed will continue to raise interest rates

 

Europe

  • European stocks continued their rebound from this month’s slump as concerns about rising U.S. yields eased.
  • The Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.8%, as 17 industry groups out of 19 advanced. Commodity stocks followed gains in oil and metal prices.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese stocks rose for a third day, gaining 1.1%, following a rally in U.S. equities amid receding concern that the Federal Reserve will rush to raise interest rates under new Chairman Jerome Powell. Chinese equities lost 1.1%.

Market Headlines – 26/2/2018

US

  • US equities ended the week on a positive note on Friday, gaining 1.6% for the session. Strength was broad-based, with all 11 sectors finishing in positive territory.
  • The dollar also resumed its upward trend, rising 0.2% against a basket of peers, leaving the greenback almost 2% higher from a three-year low touched a week earlier.
  • The stronger dollar did not impact oil prices in a negative manner last week. Brent crude prices rose 1.4% on Friday, extending Thursday’s 1.5% gain after the release of positive inventory data.
  • The main events for the week ahead include Fed Chair Jay Powell’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday, along with a series of US economic data releases, the most scrutinised of which is likely to be consumer price inflation data.

 

Europe

  • European equities also had a positive session on Friday, albeit more muted compared to their US peers – the Euro Stoxx 50 Index gained 0.3%, the German DAX index rose 0.2% and the French CAC index settled 0.2% higher.
  • Futures indicate a positive open in the region of 0.5% for European indices this morning.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities have begun the week on a positive note, with Japanese and Chinese stocks both finishing 1.2% higher this morning.

Market Headlines – 16/2/2018

US

  • The S&P 500 finished higher for a fifth consecutive session yesterday, rising 1.2%. Technology and Utilities were among the best performers for the session.
  • The S&P 500 has gained 5% over recent sessions, recovering half of the initial 10% decline over the two weeks.
  • Treasury yields continue to trade near four-year highs – the yield on 10-year issues fell 1bps (prices rose) to 2.90%.
  • In FX markets, the dollar remained under pressure, falling 0.6% against a basket of peers, trading through the $1.25 level against the euro.

 

Europe

  • European equity markets also had a positive session yesterday – the Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.6%, the French CAC index settled 1.1% higher while the stronger euro weighed on the German Dax index (+0.1%).
  • Futures markets point to another strong open for European equities, with most indices indicated to open between 0.5% and 0.7% higher this morning.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities followed the lead of their US and European counterparts overnight. Japanese equities gained 1.2%, with Telecoms and Utilities contributing the most gains.

Market Headlines – 15/2/2018

US

  • US equities closed higher for a fourth consecutive session yesterday, reversing early losses to settle 1.3% stronger. Financials and Technology were the best performing sectors for the day, while Utilities and Telecoms lagged.
  • Stronger than expected US consumer price inflation data initially led to equity market weakness, adding to concerns that the Fed may need to be more aggressive on raising rates this year. Soft retail sales data later in the session led to a tempering of this concern.
  • US bond yields resumed their upward momentum (prices fell) following the economic data releases – 10-year bond yields rose 7bps to settle at a four-year high of 2.91% – benefitting Financial stocks while simultaneously weighing on interest-rate sensitive sectors such as Utilities and Telecoms.

 

Europe

  • European stocks also put in a positive performance yesterday – the Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.9%, the German DAX index rose 1.2% and the French CAC settled 1.1% higher.
  • In FX markets, the dollar swung between gains and losses, initially reacting positively to the inflation data before reversing lower, settling 0.7% lower against a basket of peers. The euro settled within touching distance of the $1.25 level against the greenback.
  • Futures markets indicate a positive open in the region of 0.5% for European equities this morning.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities followed the lead of their US and European counterparts overnight – Japanese stocks gained 1.5% and Chinese equities rose 0.4%.

Market Headlines – 13/2/2018

US

  • US. stocks gained, rising 1.4%, with financial markets showing signs of recovery after the worst week in two years for American equities. The 10-year bond yield fell back from the four-year high hit early in the trading session as the dollar slipped.
  • Stocks and bonds have been in a tug-of-war since a blowout jobs report early this month sent Treasury yields spiking, sparking speculation of higher interest rates to come.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell as the S&P posted its biggest two-day advance in 18 months, but traders were still on edge following the tumultuous move in equities last week that wiped $2 trillion from U.S. stocks.

 

Europe

  • European equities gained after a two-week selloff that reversed annual gains and sent Germany’s benchmark into a correction.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.3%, with all industry groups up. Banks and healthcare shares contributed the most to the advance, while miners tracking metal prices higher.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Chinese stocks continued to recover gaining 1% while Japanese stocks remained weak after reopening following a holiday on Monday.

Market Headlines – 12/2/2018

US

  • US. equities ended their worst week in two years on a positive note, gaining 1.2% Friday, but rate-hike fears that pushed markets into a correction remain as investors await American inflation figures on Feb. 14.
  • The S&P 500 fell 5.2% in the week, its steepest slide since January 2016, jolting equity markets from an unprecedented stretch of calm.
  • Pressure on equities came from the Treasury market, where yields spiked to a four-year high, raising concern the Federal Reserve would accelerate its rate-hike schedule. Yields ended the week at 2.85%.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) ended at 29, almost three times higher than its level two weeks ago. Signs mounted that jitters also spread to other assets, with measures of market unrest pushing higher in junk bonds, emerging-market equities and Treasuries.

 

Europe

  • European stocks also fell the most since January 2016 last week, falling 5% on the week and 1.5% on Friday, as global turmoil persisted amid rate hike concerns.
  • In currency news, the euro lost ground against the dollar closing at 1.23 on Friday after finishing the previous week at 1.25.

 

Asia

In Asia overnight, Shares in Hong Kong and China, which bore the brunt of last week’s selloff, rose, gaining 1.8%. Japanese equity markets were closed.

Market Headlines – 6/2/2018

US

  • US equities had a volatile session yesterday, extending weakness from Friday’s session by closing a further 4.1% lower. While all 11 sectors finished in negative territory, Financials and Health Care contributed the most losses for the session.
  • The VIX index, a measure of implied equity US market volatility, rose to 35.3 yesterday, levels last experienced in August 2015.
  • US bonds, however, found a degree of support on Monday, with the 10-year yield down 8bps to 2.77%. In commodity markets, oil prices was also caught up in the risk-off session, falling 1.4% to settle at $67 a barrel.

 

Europe

  • European equities also experienced a negative session. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 1.3%, the German DAX index lost 0.8% and the French CAC index settled 1.5% lower.
  • Futures indicate a weak open again this morning for Europe.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities took the lead from their US and European peers overnight, with Japanese markets trading 4.7% lower and Chinese stocks losing 3.4%.

Market Performance:

Market Headlines – 30/1/2018

US

  • The S&P 500 index declined by the most since September yesterday, falling 0.7%
  • Yields on benchmark Treasury bonds touched the highest levels since early 2014 as traders gear up for a hectic week of data and policy announcements.
  • The US dollar strengthened against all its major rivals. The FOMC meeting begins today, the final policy meeting for Janet Yellen. Investors will be looking for confirmation of a March hike, the current probability priced in the market is 75%
  • In policy news, President Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address to Congress on later this evening.

 

Europe

  • European stocks ended the session slightly lower as food and beverage shares retreated to a four-month low, offsetting a gain in basic-resources companies.
  • In economic news, the latest European GDP measure will be released today for Q4. Inflation releases tomorrow will be a key market focus for clues on ECB monetary policy.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, stocks in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia fell after the S&P 500 Index declined from a record high.

Market Headlines – 26/1/2018

  • US equities reversed early losses yesterday to settle the session marginally higher following volatile moves in currency markets. The S&P 500 closed 0.1% higher, with Utilities and Healthcare contributing the most gains.
  • In currency markets, the dollar fell as low as $1.2536 against the euro immediately after the ECB press conference (as Mario Draghi’s comments indicated a degree of comfort with the current level of the euro), before falling to $1.2409 after President Trump suggested that the “dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar”.
  • The dollar resumed its move lower overnight, trading back up towards $1.2473 against the euro. Gold prices benefited from the weak greenback, gaining almost 1%.

 

Europe

  • The early strength of the euro and the pound unsettled European equity markets. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.4%, the German DAX lost 0.9% and the UK’s FTSE 100 settled 0.4% lower.
  • The ECB left both interest rates and its guidance unchanged yesterday, reiterating that its €30bn a month asset purchase scheme would continue beyond September, “if necessary”.

 

Asia

Asian equities traded mixed overnight. Japanese stocks fell 0.2% as the yen appreciated against the dollar as gains in Healthcare and Materials were offset by losses in Energy and Financials

Market Headlines – 23/1/2018

US

  • US equities gained 0.8% following the conclusion of the short-lived government shutdown yesterday. Telecoms, Energy and Consumer Discretionary were among the best performing sectors for the session.
  • Senate Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement on spending and immigration allowing the passage of a stopgap bill to keep the government open until February 8, putting an end to the three-day government shutdown.
  • US treasuries continued their negative momentum as yields ticked a further 1bps higher (prices fell) to settle at 2.66%. The dollar also remained under pressure yesterday despite the positive news out of Washington – the greenback settled 0.2% lower against a basket of peers.

 

Europe

  • European equities followed the lead of their US peers, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index gaining 0.4%. The German DAX index rose 0.2%, the French CAC gained 0.3% and Spanish equities were the standout performer, settling 1.0% higher.
  • The euro rose 0.2% against the dollar, settling at $1.2244 ahead of the conclusion of the ECB meeting on Thursday.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities climbed to record highs amid optimism on corporate earnings and following the end of the US government shutdown.
  • Japanese equities were further buoyed by a falling yen after Bank of Japan governor Kuroda damped speculation policy makers are moving closer to reducing monetary stimulus.

 

Market Headlines – 18/1/2018

US

  • US. stocks rose to fresh highs as companies continued to indicate the tax overhaul will boost earnings this year. The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest gain since November rising 0.9%.
  • Taxes drove much of the action. Financials were strong after Bank of America beat estimates and indicated that it could benefit from the U.S. tax overhaul by reducing pressure to cut future costs.
  • Apple climbed after saying that under the rules of the new tax plan it will bring hundreds of billions of dollars back to the U.S. from overseas to invest in jobs and facilities.
  • Treasuries fell with gold and the dollar gained on speculation Congress will avert a government shutdown tomorrow.

 

Europe

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined slightly, falling 0.3%. Support came from the weaker euro, which was dragged down by some verbal intervention from the ECB, while the yen and Swiss franc were among the other major currencies falling against the greenback.
  • The European Central Bank’s second-highest official, Vice President Vitor Constancio, added to comments from Francois Villeroy de Galhau and Ewald Nowotny, who argued over the past two days that a stronger euro may harm ECB efforts to return inflation to the goal of just under 2%.
  • The Vice President, generally considered one of the most dovish ECB officials, outlined his position a week ahead of the Governing Council’s Jan. 25 meeting to set monetary policy. The euro has risen to the strongest level against the dollar in more than three years amid signs that robust economic growth has prompted policy discussions over whether the ECB should tweak its guidance on stimulus.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Chinese shares in Hong Kong added to their 2018 surge, gaining 0.9%, while Japanese equities continued declines from the previous session, falling 0.4%.

 

 


Market Headlines – 12/1/2018

US

  • US stocks resumed their upward momentum yesterday as the S&P 500 rose 0.7%, led higher by gains in Energy stocks.
  • US bond markets were calmer yesterday as reports that Chinese government officials recommended buying less US debt were deemed to have been misinterpreted. The yield on 10-year government bonds traded 1bp lower (prices rose).
  • Oil prices continued to rise, buoyed further by a weaker dollar. Brent crude prices rose 0.1%, settling at their highest level in 3 years.
  • Attention today turns to corporate earnings, with JP Morgan, Blackrock, and Wells Fargo scheduled to release numbers.
  • US inflation data will also command attention for the session ahead, with price pressures expected to remain muted.

 

Europe

  • European equities underperformed their US peers yesterday as the strong euro weighed. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.4%, German equities fell 0.6% and French stocks closed 0.3% lower.
  • The euro gained 0.7% against the dollar, settling back above the $1.20 level, following the release of minutes from the ECB’s December meeting which were deemed to be hawkish. The minutes highlighted that the ECB was planning to revisit its forward guidance early this year, sooner than many had expected.
  • European government bond yields traded higher (prices fell) following the release of the ECB meeting minutes – 10-year German yields jumped 5bps to 0.58%, their highest level since July 2017.

 

Asia

  • Markets were mixed in Asia overnight. Japanese stocks closed marginally lower, falling 0.2%, with Consumer Staples and Telecoms contributing the most losses.

 

Market Headlines – 8/1/2018

US

  • 2018 has begun on a positive note from an equity perspective, with the S&P 500 +2.6% last week, the best week for the index since December 2016.
  • US equities traded 0.7% higher on Friday, shrugging off the weak jobs figure, as gains in technology (+1.2%) and healthcare (+0.9%) offsetting marginal weakness in utilities and energy (both -0.1%).
  • Economic data has generally begun the year on a positive note. That said the employment data released on Friday missed expectations. The US economy added 148,000 jobs in December, falling short of the 190,000 expectation, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1% for a third successive month, a 17-year low.
  • Inflation data in the US will likely be the key event for the week ahead, where price pressures are expected to remain muted. Earnings season will also come into focus this week with financial heavyweights JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Blackrock all scheduled to report in the latter half of the week.

 

Europe

  • European equities broadly mirrored the performance of their US peers on Friday as the Euro Stoxx 50 index rose 1.1%. German, French and Spanish equities all closed more than 1% higher.
  • The UK’s FTSE 100 was a marginal underperformer for the session, rising 0.4%, and has been a marginal underperformer thus far in 2018, gaining 0.5% compared to the 3.0% and 2.6% return for European and US equities respectively.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities edged higher this morning ahead of the beginning of the earnings season this week. Japan markets were closed this morning for a public holiday.

 

Market Headlines – 21/12/2017

US

  • US bonds extended weakness from the previous session, the dollar moved lower against a basket of peers, while US equities were little changed yesterday.
  • Moves in government bonds received the most attention once again. 10-year yields traded a further 4bps higher (prices fell), settling at 2.50%, translating into a 10bps move higher over the past two days.
  • In currency markets, the dollar extended recent weakness, most notably against the euro. The common currency gained 0.4% against the greenback, settling at $1.1877.
  • Oil prices were buoyed by positive US inventory data which highlighted a 5.2m drawdown in inventories. Brent Crude gained 1.2% following the data release.

 

Europe

  • European equities underperformed their US peers yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.8%, the German DAX declined 0.7% and the French CAC settled 0.6% lower.
  • Moves in European government bond yields mirrored that in the US, as German 10-year yields rose 4bps to 0.42%.
  • In Spain, Catalonia will hold its regional election today with polls showing neither side will win a clear majority.

 

Asia

  • A mixed session for Asian equities overnight. Japanese stocks were little changed following the BoJ decision to leave its monetary stimulus unchanged (as widely expected), while Chinese stocks rose 0.4%.

 


Market Headlines – 19/12/2017

US

  • US stocks gained 0.5% yesterday, buoyed by optimism surrounding the tax reform agenda. Gains for the index were broad based across sectors, with Materials and Telecoms the standout performers and Utilities the primary laggard.
  • Technology stocks also enjoyed a positive session, highlighted by the fact that the Nasdaq index broke the 7,000 level for the first ever time intra-day before settling marginally below that level. The tech-laden Nasdaq index has gained 31% this year.
  • In fixed income markets, the yield on US 10-year bonds jumped 4bps (prices fell) following news of progress on the tax reform bill. The US dollar dipped 0.2% against a basket of peers.

 

Europe

  • European equities enjoyed a very strong session yesterday, taking the lead from the strong US close on Friday and further supported by US tax reform newsflow.
  • The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 1.4%, the German DAX index rose a similar 1.6% and the French CAC gained 1.3%.
  • Portuguese debt outperformed after Fitch’s two-notch upgrade late on Friday, removing the country from ‘junk’ status and adding to optimism over its strong recovery after a bailout six years ago.

 

Asia

  • A mixed session in Asian overnight. Chinese stocks gained close to 1% while Japanese shares traded marginally lower.

 

Market Headlines – 18/12/2017

US

  • US. stocks gained with the dollar as investors assessed messages from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings this week with concerns lingering about the prospects for U.S. tax overhaul.
  • Uncertainty surrounding the fate of U.S. tax reform continues as investors look to the end of a stellar year for equities.

 

Europe

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was lower with retailers leading the decline as H&M plunged after reporting a slump in quarterly sales.
  • The euro headed for its first weekly advance of the month after the ECB remained cautious about the prospects of reaching its inflation goals while reiterating a pledge to keep stimulus in place.
  • In the UK, the pound dropped and yields on U.K. gilts fell to the lowest since September amid speculation of difficult Brexit talks ahead.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight Japanese stocks gained 1.5% while Chinese stocks were little changed rising just 0.1%.

 

Market Headlines – 13/12/2017

US

  • US equities traded higher, oil prices retreated from recent highs and the US dollar gained following better than expected US producer price inflation data.
  • US headline producer prices rose 0.4% last month, higher than expected, for a yoy increase of 3.1%. Core inflation (excluding food and energy) rose 2.4% yoy, it’s fastest pace since mid-2014.
  • Consumer price inflation and the Fed meeting, when a 25bps rate hike is expected, are likely to be the highlights for the session today. The Fed meeting will mark Janet Yellen’s final speech as Fed Chair before her term expires in February 2018.

 

Europe

  • European equities had a positive session yesterday. The Euro Stoxx index gained 0.5%, the UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6% and the German DAX index settled 0.5% higher.
  • Inflation in the UK was also in focus, with consumer prices rising 3.1% in November, higher than many expected and accelerating from October’s 3.0% rate.

 

Asia

  • Markets were mixed this morning in Asia ahead of upcoming central bank meetings over the next 2 days.

Japanese stocks fell 0.5% – losses in Materials and Tech stocks offset gains in Financials and Healthcare – and Chinese stocks had a strong session, rising 0.7%, with all sectors, with the exception of Real Estate, finishing higher.


Market Headlines – 8/12/2017

US

  • US. stocks rose as investors evaluated the outlook for a final tax bill, while the dollar advanced for a fourth day and oil rebounded from its worst selloff in two months.
  • The S&P 500 ended a four-day losing streak, rising 0.3%, with industrial and consumer discretionary shares among the best performers in a modest but broad rally that saw two stocks gain for every one that dropped.
  • In economic news, market focus today will be on the release of the latest non-farm payrolls number for an indication on the health of the labour market.

 

Europe

  • European stocks gained 0.3%, as gains in telecommunication firms offset a slump in health-care companies.
  • In Brexit news, the U.K. and the European Union struck a deal to unlock divorce negotiations, opening the way for talks on what businesses are keenest to nail down — the nature of the post-Brexit future. Prime Minister Theresa May came to Brussels with an offer: a financial settlement, an agreement on Europeans living in the U.K. and a solution for keeping open the border that divides the island of Ireland after the split.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese shares gained 1.4%, rising for a second day as shares of exporters advanced after the yen weakened. Japan’s economy expanded more than initially stated in the third quarter as business investment grew at a faster pace, according to the latest government report.
  • Chinese shares gained 0.5%, while trade data from China showed exports unexpectedly jumped last month.

 

Market Headlines – 6/12/2017

US

  • Most U.S. stocks fell yesterday, with tech shares fading in afternoon trading, as investors assessed the impact of proposed tax cuts.
  • American equities failed to hold early gains for a second straight day, with industrial shares dragging the S&P 500 Index lower by 0.4%.
  • In political news, House and Senate lawmakers are poised to begin working on compromise tax-overhaul legislation – a key step in their drive to send a bill with tax cuts for corporations and individuals to President Donald Trump by the end of the year.
  • In monetary policy news, the nomination of new Fed Chief Powell was formally passed by the Senate Banking Committee by a 22-1 vote, with the lone against vote reportedly due to concerns that Mr Powell may weaken financial regulations.

 

Europe

  • European stocks declined, falling 0.2%, as basic-resources firms slid to a two-month low amid concern demand for metals is softening in China, outweighing gains in real estate and retail shares.
  • The European Commission College of Commissioners discusses Brexit today and will likely make its recommendation on whether sufficient progress has been made to move negotiations forward.

 

Asia

  • The Asia Pacific Equity Index fell for the 8th day, the longest losing streak in two years, as the technology, mining, consumer and industrial sectors led declines. Japan equities fell sharply, declining 2% while Chinese equities also lost 0.3%.

 

Market Headlines – 30/11/2017

US

  • US. equities were unchanged as investors mulled over better-than-expected GDP data and reports of a missile launch in North Korea.
  • Bank stocks climbed on hopes for tax-reform progress while technology shares came under pressure.
  • The Senate Budget Committee sent the tax bill to the full chamber which will be voted on as soon as this afternoon.
  • The Commerce Department released updated figures for third-quarter U.S. GDP, which showed the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.3%. The number matched estimates and surpassed an initial read of 3.0% growth.
  • Later on today the October personal income and spending data in the US will be released. This will also provide the latest reading for the Fed’s preferred inflation metric – the core PCE deflator.

 

Europe

  • European stocks advanced for a second day as investors looked beyond a rout in technology firms, which slumped with their U.S. counterparts amid concern about how they’ll fare under a proposed tax overhaul.
  • In the UK, the FTSE 100 fell 0.9% following gains in the currency. The U.K. benchmark typically has an inverse relationship with the pound as its members get 3/4 of their revenues from outside the country.
  • In Irish political news, the Taoiseach is expected to announce the appointment of Simon Coveney as Tánaiste in the Dáil today.
  • In economic news, this morning we’ll receive the November CPI report for the Euro area where the consensus expect a small pickup in the core to +1.0% yoy from +0.9%.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese equities gained 0.6%, lead by gains in names such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., which climbed 2.8%. Chinese equities retreated 0.6% following weakness in Tech names.

 


Market Headlines – 29/11/2017

US

  • Stocks on Wall Street rose to fresh record highs yesterday, with Financials leading indices higher following testimony by Jerome Powell – President Trump’s Fed Chair nominee – before the Senate banking committee. Mr Powell set the stage for further rate rises and said the existing rules on banks were “tough enough” to ensure a stable system.
  • The S&P 500 gained 1% for the session. Financials were the biggest gainer, rising 2.6%, while Industrials and Consumer stocks also put in a strong session. News of a ballistic missile launch by North Korea failed to arrest the move higher in US equities.
  • Oil prices fell 0.4% amid uncertainty on whether Saudi Arabia and Russia will agree to extend production cuts following the recent recovery in the underlying commodity since the cuts were initiated.

 

Europe

  • European equities also participated in the pro-risk session, gaining between 0.5% and 1.0%. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.5%, the German DAX index rose 0.5%, the French CAC gained 0.6% and the Spanish IBEX closed 0.8% higher.
  • Global mining stocks came under pressure on growing concerns on demand from China. President Xi has said that he wants to cut back on inefficient metals production for environmental reasons.
  • London’s FTSE 100 rose 1% despite the week session for mining stocks. The index benefited from a rally for Royal Dutch Shell after well-received earnings and a rally for banks after reassuring results in the Bank of England’s stress tests of the sector.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities traded higher this morning despite the news of a ballistic missile launch from North Korea. Japanese stocks rose 0.5%, with Financials and Consumer Discretionary among the sessions biggest gainers, while Chinese equities closed marginally higher.

Market Headlines – 28/11/2017

US

  • US. equities ended Monday little changed as declining oil prices pulled down energy stocks at the start of a busy news week.
  • Crude Oil slipped after U.S. drillers expanded operations while OPEC and Russia prepare to discuss longer supply curbs.
  • In political news, the U.S. Senate tax bill is set to be debated this week. President Donald Trump, tweeted yesterday that negotiations on the tax bill were coming along “very well”.
  • The most significant event today will likely be the Fed Chair nominee Jerome Powell’s confirmation hearing. The new Fed Chair has broadly conveyed a message of continuity, stating “we expect interest rates to rise somewhat further and the size of our balance sheet to gradually shrink”.

 

Europe

  • European stocks fell as defensive sectors such as real estate and utilities outperformed cyclical shares.
  • Over in Germany, progress to form the new coalition government appears to be heading in the right direction, leading to gains in German sovereign bonds.
  • In the UK, the Bank of England publishes annual stress tests Tuesday alongside its Financial Stability Review looking at the health of U.K. banks.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese equities were unchanged, as the yen pared gains after a rally partly fuelled by a Kyodo News report that Japan detected radio signals suggesting North Korea is preparing for a missile launch.
  • Chinese equities gained 0.3%, despite news in the last week surrounding government concerns about a potential stock bubble. Chinese bond yields also soared toward 4% last week amid efforts by authorities to clamp down on leverage.

 

 

Market Headlines – 27/11/2017

US

  • A rally in oil and optimism at the mall buoyed U.S. stocks to a record on Friday, with the index rising 0.2%, at the traditional start of the American holiday shopping season.
  • The S&P 500 currently has achieved a 1.5% total return for November so far. If the index ends November in positive territory it will mark its 13th successive positive total return month, a new record.
  • Oil gained 0.5% on Friday as OPEC and Russia are said to agree on a framework to extend oil cuts.
  • Economic reports from the U.S., China, Japan and India this week will allow investors to assess progress for global growth. Equities markets trading at record levels reflect money managers’ enthusiasm for an earnings expansion as economies grow.

 

Europe

  • Stocks in Europe gained 0.3% as Germany moved closer to ending a political impasse and business confidence in the region’s biggest economy improved.
  • Germany’s biggest opposition party said it’s open to talks on backing a government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, offering a way to restore political stability to Europe’s biggest economy. In Germany, the latest Emnid survey show 52% of Germans believe Ms Merkel’s CDU/CSU and SPD should form a coalition Government, but 39% oppose a grand coalition.
  • Focusing on Brexit talks, the Scottish Conservative Party leader Ms Davidson has warned time is running out as “if we don’t make it through in the next two weeks, to move to that next phase (on trade and transitional deal)….(then) it’s a setback”.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Chinese equities resumed their decline, falling 0.9%, while Japanese shares ended lower declining 0.2%.

 

 


Market Headlines – 22/11/2017

US

  • A strong session for Technology and Healthcare companies helped push the S&P 500 to a record closing high. The index gained 0.7%, briefly rising above the 2,600 level for the first time.
  • Positive economic data and strong company results provided further support for equities. Existing home sales rose 2% last month, easily beating expectations, providing an indication of a strong underlying US economy.
  • The dollar fell 0.2% against a basket of peers. In the US bond market, the yield curve flattened further as 2-year bonds yield rose 2bps while 10-year yields rose 1bps.

 

Europe

  • European stocks also put in a strong performance while the euro steadied after Monday’s volatile session. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.5%, the German DAX rose 0.8%, with carmakers among the day’s biggest gainers, and the UK’s FTSE 100 settled 0.3% higher.
  • The highlight for today is likely to be the UK budget. Recent data highlighting that the UK’s deficit unexpectantly widened in October likely puts additional pressure on Chancellor Hammond. The budget speech is due to be delivered at about 12:30pm today.

 

Asia

  • Markets traded higher in Asia this morning, following the lead from the positive US and European sessions. Japanese equities rose 0.5%, with Energy and Technology among the session’s biggest gainers.

Market Headlines – 21/11/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 began the week on a positive note as gains in Tech stocks offset a soft session for Energy companies.
  • Oil prices fell 0.8%, reversing some of Friday’s strong 2.2% gain, as investors awaited an OPEC meeting scheduled for next week.
  • Overnight, the Fed’s Janet Yellen confirmed she will be stepping down from the Board of Governors once Mr Powell is sworn into office. Her vacancy will give President Trump a fourth spot to fill in the new Fed, including the Vice Chairman spot.

 

Europe

  • The euro had a volatile session following the lack of progress on forming a new government in Germany, falling as low as $1.1723 against the dollar in Asian trading hours — only to rally back to $1.1808, before dipping again to $1.1733 — down 0.5% on the day.
  • The weaker euro provided support to German equities as the DAX index reversed an early loss to close 0.5% higher. The tone for equity markets across the continent was positive. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.4%, the French CAC rose 0.4% and the UK’s FTSE 100 settled in positive territory despite Sterling strength.

 

Asia

  • Markets in Asia this morning followed the positive lead from their US and European counterparts. Asian equities rose 0.7%, with Energy and Materials stocks contributing the most gains.

 

Market Headlines – 16/11/2017

US

  • A sell-off in commodity-sensitive names weighed on markets for a second consecutive session yesterday. The S&P 500 ended 0.6% lower, with Energy and Material companies among the worst performers.
  • A report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) projecting lower oil demand for this year and 2018, in combination with higher than expected inventory data in the US, led to a 0.5% decline in oil prices. Base metal prices also had a weak session as Copper lost 0.3%, iron ore fell 5% and nickel settled 0.8% lower.
  • Positive US economic data reversed an initial decline in the dollar – at one stage the dollar fell to $1.1860 against the euro before strengthening into the close to finish broadly unchanged.
  • On the economic data front, US core inflation rose to an annualised rate of 1.8% last month, coming in ahead of expectations. US retail sales also beat expectations, rising 0.2% month-on-month.

 

Europe

  • European equities also closed lower yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.3, the German DAX index lost 0.4% and the UK’s FTSE 100 closed 0.5% lower. Energy and Materials stocks broadly mirrored the performance of their US peers, contributed the most losses to European indices. Telecoms, on the other hand, outperformed.
  • In the UK, the September unemployment rate was in line and steady at 4.3% – still at a 42 year low, while the average weekly earnings growth remains low but was slightly above expectations at 2.2% year-on-year.

 

Asia

  • Japanese equities bounced 1.5% overnight, bringing a run of 6 consecutive negative sessions to an end. All sectors finished in positive territory with the exception of Energy, which fell 1.5%.

 

 


Market Headlines – 15/11/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 Index fell for the third time in four days. Energy and materials producers led losses as Bloomberg’s commodity index declined the most in six months. Crude slid the most in more a month after a tepid demand forecast.
  • In currency news, the dollar lost the most since September as the American yield curve flattened further ahead of inflation data.
  • Data on U.S. consumer prices and retail sales today will be a market focus after the flattest American yield curve in a decade and weak data from China raised concern that growth is slowing.

 

Europe

  • European stocks fell for a sixth day as the euro advanced, while a slump in oil weighed on energy firms.
  • In economic news, German data showed faster-than-expected economic expansion in the country.
  • In the UK, the House of Commons has voted 318 to 68 to agree to Clause 1 of the EU withdrawal bill which will repeal the 1972 law that is the basis of UK’s EU membership. Notably, the vote is the second in a series of upcoming votes on PM May’s Brexit bill.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Chinese shares slumped, falling 0.8%, led by large-caps in Hong Kong, amid concern over a rout in the nation’s bond market and a selloff in global commodities. Japanese stocks also retreated, declining 1.6%, led by oil-related stocks, after crude prices slumped.

Market Headlines – 13/11/2017

US

  • US. stocks declined on Friday, with the S&P 500 falling 0.1%, as health-care shares were dragged lower.  Energy stocks also struggled as crude slipped below $57 a barrel amid rising tensions in the Persian Gulf.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries punched through 2.4%, joining a spike in European sovereign rates with inflation worries ratcheting up.
  • In political news, investors assessed the House and Senate tax bills amid concerns the Trump administration’s signature proposal may encounter obstacles.

 

Europe

  • Carmakers led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to its biggest two-day drop since August, with most industry sectors declining. Energy stocks also fell, outweighing a gain in miners.
  • In bond news, Core euro-area bonds fell for a second day as investors continued to reprice the region’s debt securities. German bunds led the decline as traders judged that the recent rally — which came on the heels of the European Central Bank’s latest policy meeting last month — was overdone.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese shares came under pressure, the Topix index slid for a third day and the Nikkei 225 retreated for a fourth session following gains last week that pushed them to levels unseen since 1991 and 1992 respectively. Chinese shares gained 0.3%.

 

Market Headlines – 10/11/2017

US

  • US stocks closed lower Thursday, retreating from record highs on the back of growing concerns that tax reforms could be delayed until 2019.
  • A proposed plan by Senate Republicans would delay the implementation of tax cuts to 2019. This contrasts with a bill currently working its way through the House that aims to put tax cuts into effect this year.
  • The S&P 500 ended 0.4% lower, staging a partial recovery into the close. Industrials and Materials were the worst performing sectors on the day, losing 1.3% and 0.9% respectively.

 

Europe

  • European equities closed notably lower yesterday following a batch of disappointing earnings reports.
  • The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 1.2%, its largest daily decline since August. The German DAX lost 1.5%, the French CAC ended 1.2% weaker and the Spanish IBEX closed 0.9% weaker.
  • Shares of luxury brand Burberry fell 10% after it revealed the cost of its new transformation, including store renovations. Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, lost 20% as it lowered 2017 profit guidance. German sports retailer Adidas also fell 5% despite reporting upbeat results, highlighting elevated expectations heading into the numbers.

 

Asia

Japanese equities took the lead from their US and European peers this morning, declining 0.8% in conjunction with a rise in the yen. Telecoms and Utilities were the primary contributors to the negative session, falling 1.9% and 1.7% respectively.


Market Headlines – 8/11/2017

US

  • US stocks inched lower from record highs yesterday as Energy stocks gave back some of the previous sessions strong gains. The S&P 500 closed marginally weaker as losses in Financials and Energy companies offset gains in Utilities and Consumer Staples stocks.
  • Oil prices retreated almost 1% yesterday following Monday’s 3.5% gain, but remain within touching distance of $64 per barrel, a level it breached on Monday for the first time in two years.
  • Currencies that tend to exhibit relatively strong correlations with oil prices, notably the Canadian dollar and Norwegian krone, both ticked lower against the dollar. The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of peers, rose 0.2% yesterday.

 

Europe

  • European equities closed lower yesterday amid a batch of weak corporate earnings. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.6%, the UK’s FTSE 100 lost 0.7% and the German DAX closed 0.9% lower.
  • Danish jewellery maker Pandora provided weak guidance for the important holiday quarter; online clothing operator Zalando similarly provided weak guidance as increased logistics investments will weigh on margins; Danish shipping firm Moller-Maersk lowered guidance following disturbances from a cyber-attack.

 

Asia

  • Asian equity market moves overnight were relatively muted. Japanese stocks finished marginally lower and remain within touching distance levels not previously touched since 1992.

Market Headlines – 7/11/2017

US

  • Strong gains in Energy stocks and M&A activity in the Tech sector helped US stocks inch to fresh record highs. The S&P 500 gained 0.1% yesterday, bringing the YTD total return to 17.7%.
  • Energy stocks were buoyed by a 3.5% move higher in oil prices. That move in oil prices, which have gained 14% over the past month, came as a crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia led to the arrest of numerous high-profile individuals. This fuelled speculation that OPEC would extend supply cuts at a meeting later this month.
  • In currency markets, the dollar traded broadly flat against the euro while sterling gained 0.6%. Negative sentiment towards the yen came as President Trump spoke of Japan’s unfair trade advantage and that he intends to correct this by making it easier to conduct business in the US.

 

Europe

  • European equities closed marginally lower yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.2% while indices in Germany, Spain, and France also closed lower.
  • However, European indices are set to open higher this morning as corporate earnings season remains in full swing. Futures indicate that the Euro Stoxx 50 index will open 0.25% higher, the UK’s FTSE 100 is expected to open 0.15% stronger, and the German DAX index is poised to gain 0.30%.

 

Asia

  • Asian stocks enjoyed a very strong session this morning. Japanese stocks gained 1.7%, Chinese equities rose 0.7% and Australian stocks gained 1.2%.
  • Strong corporate earnings, a continued rebound in commodity prices, and a weaker yen contributed to the positive session in Japan. Energy stocks were the biggest beneficiary of the positive risk-on session, gaining 3.3%.

 

Market Headlines – 6/11/2017

US

  • US stocks gained 0.3% Friday following a mixed batch of economic data releases and high-profile earnings reports.
  • The US economy added 261,000 jobs in October, falling well short of expectations, although there was a net 90,000 revision to the previous two months’ readings which softened the headline miss.
  • Elsewhere on the economic data front, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) index for the service sector hit 60.1 in October (a reading above 50 indicates expansion), a 12-year high. This highlights the strength of the underlying economy and likely keeps the Fed on track to hike rates in December.
  • Attention for the week ahead will turn to the US tax plan, President Trump’s tour of Asia, and US department store earnings, with focus on the key upcoming holiday quarter.

 

Europe

  • The Euro Stoxx 50 index closed unchanged Friday, rounding off a strong week of gains in which technology stocks outperformed.
  • In FX markets, the euro reversed early gains against the dollar to close 0.4% lower. Sterling, however, closed up 0.1% against the dollar after Thursday’s 1.4% decline following the BoE’s dovish outlook statement.

 

Asia

  • Markets traded mixed in Asia this morning following comments from Chinese central bank Governor Zhou on excessive leverage in the system.
  • Chinese equities actually finished 0.5% higher for the session, recovering into the close having been down as much as 0.4% at one point. Japanese stocks closed marginally higher, with Consumer Discretionary and Energy stocks contributing the most gains.

 


Market Headlines – 2/11/2017

US

  • US. stocks advanced and the dollar rose after the Federal Reserve acknowledged economic growth is solid. The S&P 500 Index edged higher by 0.2% after the Fed reinforced expectations for a December rate increase by subtly upgrading its assessment of the economy.
  • In other news, reports yesterday stated that President Donald Trump will nominate Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve. Powell will inherit a central bank that anticipates eventually reaching its 2% inflation target, given a strengthening labour market and solid economic activity.

 

Europe

  • European stocks rose, advancing 0.6%, as basic resources companies jumped to the highest level since 2013 and the euro slid for a second day, boosting the sentiment for the region’s exporters.
  • In the UK, anything other than a rate hike from the Bank of England today would be a surprise to markets. Governor Mark Carney may signal even more tightening if the economy performs in line with new forecasts, but this is very unlikely.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Chinese shares declined 0.4% as a rally by insurance companies wavered and a measure of China’s tech and small cap shares fell. Japanese stocks gained 0.5%.

 

Market Headlines – 1/11/2017

US

  • US. stocks capped the best month since February as the S&P 500 Index finished October with a gain of more than 2%, spurred by strong economic data, rising expectations for tax cuts and robust corporate earnings.
  • The dollar gained versus major peers to cap a second straight monthly advance.
  • In other news, the Fed will hold their latest monetary policy meeting later today. The November FOMC meeting is unlikely to materially impact market sentiment. Rather, it will serve to reinforce expectations for a rate increase at the December meeting, for which markets already assign a probability of more than 80%.

 

Europe

  • European stocks rose, capping a second month of gains, as strength in travel and leisure companies offset a decline in natural resources firms.
  • In economic news, the euro-area’s unemployment rate inched lower in September as the economy expanded for an 18th consecutive quarter, but consumer inflation unexpectedly slowed in October, complicating the European Central Bank’s task as it considers tightening policy.

 

Asia

  • Japanese equities climbed 1.9%, buoyed by a weaker yen, as a surge in U.S. consumer confidence in October served as the latest confirmation of a global economic recovery ahead of a Federal Reserve policy decision today. Chinese shares edged higher rising 0.1%.

 

Market Headlines – 27/10/2017

US

  • US. stocks edged higher amid robust earnings from Twitter to United Parcel Service, speculation about the Federal Reserve’s next leader and congressional action on taxes.
  • In currency news, the dollar climbed to a three-month high after the U.S. House passed a budget resolution on tax reforms and as speculation mounted a hawkish candidate may lead the Federal Reserve.

 

Europe

  • European stocks gained rising 1.3% after ECB President Mario Draghi pledged to maintain near-zero rates for as long as necessary.
  • The euro headed for its biggest weekly drop since March after the European Central Bank announced it will be buying bonds for a longer time, even as it plans to halve monthly purchases.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities rose overnight following positive corporate results from China to Japan. Chinese equities edged slightly higher rising just 0.1% while Japanese equities advanced 1.2%.

Market Headlines – 23/10/2017

US

  • US. stocks posted a sixth straight weekly gain, rising 0.9% for the week, on speculation Donald Trump was closer to pulling off one of his biggest legislative priorities after the Senate approved a budget vehicle for tax cuts.
  • The dollar index reached a three-month high and 10-year Treasury yields approached 2.4% amid speculation Trump was moving closer to selecting the next Federal Reserve chief.
  • People familiar with the process of selecting the next Fed chief said Trump’s advisers are steering him toward either Jerome Powell, a member of the Fed Board of Governors, or Stanford economist John Taylor.

Europe

  • European shares erased some of Thursday’s losses, advancing 0.1%, on the back of rising metal prices and positive corporate earnings.
  • The euro slipped slightly as investors eyed political developments in Spain and negotiations over Britain’s departure from the European Union

 

Asia

  • In Japan, a landslide election victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent Japanese shares higher, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average advancing 1.1%.
  • The yen reached its weakest level since July, as PM Abe being in good political shape has key implications for the pending decision on the Bank of Japan’s leadership.

Market Headlines – 20/10/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 pared initial losses and bucked the trend of weak equity markets by closing in positive territory yesterday. Technology stocks were among the primary underperformers for the session, dragged lower by Apple (-2.4%) as investors fretted about signs of poor demand for the company’s latest iPhone model.
  • Further signs of mild risk-aversion came as the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell 1bp to 2.33%, while gold snapped a three-day run of losses to trade 0.7% higher at $1,284 an ounce.

 

Europe

  • European equity markets underperformed their US peers yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index falling 0.5%. Broader markets were initially unsettled by concerns about Chinese debt following comments from the country’s central bankers and were further compounded by political developments in Spain.
  • The Spanish government vowed to begin the process of taking direct control over Catalonia after the region’s president, Carles Puigdemont, declined to renounce claims to independence. Spanish equities and bond prices both declined following the news.

 

Asia

  • Japanese stocks settled broadly unchanged overnight, as strength in Materials and Utilities was offset by weakness in Real Estate and Financial stocks.
  • Polls for the Japanese elections this Sunday suggest that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should win a two thirds majority in parliament and secure his third term.

Market Headlines 19/10/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 edged another 0.1% higher, Energy stocks fell and oil prices pared gains following disappointing inventory data and the US dollar traded marginally lower against a basket of peers.
  • Energy stocks were among the worst performers yesterday as oil prices fell from intra-day highs after the EIA reported a fourth successive weekly drop in crude stocks, but said gasoline inventories had risen by more than expected.
  • Turning to fixed income markets, the yield on 10-year bonds rose 4bps to 2.34% (bond prices fell) as speculation continued on who might take the helm of the Federal Reserve when Janet Yellen’s term ends in February next year.

 

Europe

  • The positive mood in equity markets was also evident in Europe. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.3% and the German DAX rose 0.4%, settling at a record high.
  • The yield on Spanish bonds rose 7bps yesterday (bond prices fell) ahead of today’s deadline for Catalan President Puigdemont to formally respond on whether independence was declared or not.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities fell from intra-day highs overnight following Chinese economic data. Japanese stocks finished a modest 0.3% stronger while Chinese equities fell 0.5%.
  • China reported that its economy expanded 6.8% last quarter, with retail sales and industrial output accelerating in September.

 


Market Headlines 17/10/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 finished 0.2% higher, with Telecoms and Financials leading advancers. Comments from President Trump on US drug pricing led to weakness in Health Care companies, one of the worst performing sectors for the session.
  • In currency markets, the dollar index, a gauge of the greenback against a basket of peers, rose 0.1 per cent to 93.17, while the yield on the US 10-year Treasury rose 2 basis points to 2.30 per cent.
  • US earnings season kicks into full gear this week with nearly 60 S&P 500 companies scheduled to report. Speeches from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and China’s 19th Communist Party Congress are also likely to command attention for the week ahead.

 

Europe

  • European equities were broadly unchanged yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index was unchanged, the German DAX index gained 0.1% and the UK’s FTSE 100 closed marginally lower.
  • Spanish equities, however, underperformed their European peers amid news that the Spanish government has given Catalan leaders until Thursday to back away from claiming independence or face the possibility of direct rule from Madrid. The Spanish IBEX 35 index fell 0.8%.

 

Asia

  • Japanese equities followed the lead of their US peers overnight, gaining 0.4%. However, equities pulled back from intra-session highs following comments from North Korea that nuclear war could “break out at any moment” sparked a degree of caution.

Market Headlines 16/10/2017

US

  • US stocks edged slightly higher on Friday, rising 0.1% by the close.
  • Economic data released on Friday showed a significant hurricane distortion in the September headline inflation figure largely related to fallout from a temporary spike in energy prices. The bigger surprise came from another downside surprise for core inflation, which has fallen short of consensus expectations in six of the past seven months.

 

Europe

  • European stocks were unchanged Friday. 16 out of 19 sectors gained with the largest move seen in Basic Resources stocks which gained 2.5%.
  • In monetary policy news, reports on Friday stated that European Central Bank officials are considering cutting their monthly bond buying by at least half starting in January and keeping their program active for at least nine months.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese stocks gained 0.5% as technology firms and banks bolstered the Japanese stock market. Chinese equities declined 0.2%.

Market Headlines 10/10/2017

US

  • US. stocks retreated in light trading, declining 0.2%, as investors assessed the latest political developments in Washington before the start of earnings season.
  • Investors may have refrained from large bets Monday without any direction from the bond market, which was closed for Columbus day, while the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting are due Wednesday.

 

Europe

  • European stocks advanced, after falling the most in more than a month Friday.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.2%. Spanish stocks lead the rally with a 0.5% jump after a senior member in the Catalan administration called for dialogue with Spain. German equities also aided the advance following solid economic data releases.
  • Catalan President Puigdemont is expected to address the regional Parliament in Barcelona at 6pm this evening which should help to give the markets more clarity on how the situation is developing.
  • In the UK, Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, and his U.K. counterpart David Davis begin the fifth round of talks on the U.K.’s departure from the EU.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese equities gained 0.6% after the market reopened, while Chinese equities also gained rising 0.1%.

Market Headline 6/10/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 notched another fresh record high yesterday, gaining 0.6% on the day, marking the eighth consecutive positive session for the index and a sixth successive record close.
  • Financials and Technology stocks were the best performing sectors on the day. Financials were boosted by a rise in bond yields following the passing of a budget deal in the House of Representatives.
  • The key event for the session ahead will be the non-farm payrolls report. Consensus expectations are for the US economy to have added 80k jobs in September, although the range of estimates is much wider than usual due to the uncertainty of the impact from Hurricane Irma.

 

Europe

  • European equities also posted positive gains for the session. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.5% and Spanish equities rebounded from losses seen in the previous session, gaining 2.5%.
  • The move in Spanish equities was driven by lower expectations of a declaration of independence by Catalan separatists.

 

Asia

  • This morning in Asia, markets have followed the lead from the US and European trading sessions, trading higher. Japanese equities gained 0.3% as Consumer Discretionary and Real Estate contributed the most gains.

Market Headlines 3/10/2017

US

  • US equities maintained their strong recent run. The S&P 500 gained 0.4%, settling at another fresh record high. The dollar also extended its recent bout of strength against the euro as the common currency traded lower following the Spanish vote in Catalonia.
  • Positive US economic data further boosted the dollar as the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a widely watched measure of manufacturing activity, rose to a 13-year high, easily outstripping expectations.

 

Europe

  • European equities also traded higher yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index gaining 0.2%.
  • Spanish stocks, however, underperformed their European peers, closing 1.2% weaker following the independence vote in Catalonia over the weekend.
  • Energy stocks also underperformed on both sides of the Atlantic as oil prices continued to retreat. Brent crude settled 2.5% lower.

 

Asia

  • Japanese stocks closed at their highest levels since August 2015, gaining 1% overnight. Strength was broad-based across sectors with Real Estate and Utility companies contributing the most gains.

 


Market Headlines 26/9/2017

US

  • US. stocks fell, with the S&P declining 0.2%, as selling in large-cap technology shares intensified.
  • US Treasuries advanced with gold after North Korea ratcheted up tensions with America. Haven assets advanced after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho described President Donald Trump’s recent comments as tantamount to a declaration of war.

 

Europe

  • In Europe, equities declined 0.1% and the euro weakened after Chancellor Angela Merkel won Germany’s election, while the country’s main far-right party had a surprisingly strong result.
  • Investors were expecting a victory for Angela Merkel, but there has been a surprise in the relatively poor performance of the CDU and SPD, who suffered their worst results since 1949.
  • In the UK equities followed their European and US counterparts lower falling 0.1%.
  • European Union Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and U.K. counterpart David Davis begin their next round of negotiations this week.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, technology stocks fell, weighing on the benchmark index, as investors largely shrugged off the latest threats from North Korea that hampered US equity performance on Monday. Japanese equities fell 0.3% while Chinese equities declined 0.2%.

 

Market Headlines 25/9/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 closed marginally higher on Friday, with Telecoms and Energy leading gainers, despite North Korea’s threat of testing a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.
  • US bond yields were slightly firmer for the session, as the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell to 2.25% (prices rose) after posting a strong rebound in recent weeks. Since lows around 2% two weeks ago, the yield on the 10-year has added more than 23 basis points over the period, notching further gains after the Fed announcement on Wednesday.
  • Central banks could offer further direction to markets this week as Mario Draghi addresses EU lawmakers in Brussels later today, Janet Yellen has a speech in the US on Tuesday and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also has a speech scheduled for later in the week.

 

Europe

  • European equities broadly tracked the performance of their US peers Friday, settling marginally higher. The UK’s FTSE 100, however, jumped 0.6% following a speech from Prime Minister Theresa May which gave little detail on how she wants a Brexit transition period to work. Sterling fell against the dollar on the speech, potentially boosting revenues at large UK firms that deal in dollars.
  • The euro dipped 0.2% against the dollar this morning following the disappointing yet overwhelming victory for German Chancellor Angela Merkel in yesterday’s election. Coalition deals are likely to be more difficult after the result as Merkel won a smaller share of the vote than expected, with focus on a surprisingly strong result for a far-right party.

 

Asia

  • Japanese equities began the week on a positive note, bucking the trend of a weak Asian session, thanks to optimism of a 2 trillion yen ($18bn) stimulus from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of an expected early election.
  • Market Performance:

Market Headlines 20/09/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 Index edged higher for a third day, rising 0.1%.
  • Moves in the dollar and US Treasury yields were also muted after Donald Trump gave a speech to the United Nations and as the Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting.
  • Market attention will turn to the Fed decision today, with a focus on details on unwinding part of the central bank’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet

 

Europe

  • European stocks held little changed as energy companies rallied to a three-month high rising 0.6%. The telecoms sector was the top industry group performer yesterday gaining 0.9%.
  • In the UK the FTSE 100 gained 0.3% yesterday despite the pound swinging between gains and losses following speculation that Boris Johnson could resign if disagreement with PM Theresa May on Brexit strategy continues.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight Chinese and Japanese equities gained modestly as investors away the US Fed decision today.

Market Performance


Market Headlines 19/9/2017

US

  • US. stocks advanced to fresh records, with the S&P 500 edging up a further 0.1%, while the dollar halted a two-day drop and Treasury yields rose as investors remained optimistic about the economy.
  • Markets maintained a risk-on stance after last week’s gains, with investors turning attention to this week’s Federal Reserve meeting. While the central bank is widely expected to keep the benchmark rate unchanged, close attention will be paid to the chance of an increase later in the year and on whether officials will announce the start of a reduction in the bank’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet.
  • In geopolitical news, risks continued to dissipate as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told CBS yesterday that the U.S. seeks a peaceful resolution to the tension with North Korea, but is prepared to use military force if diplomatic efforts fail to end the nuclear standoff. The comments were made ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first address before the United Nations today.

 

Europe

  • European stocks advanced to the highest level in almost six weeks rising 0.3%.
  • Out of 18 industry groups 11 gained yesterday, the top performers were the financial services sector which gained 1% following rising bond yields and the Technology sector which gained 0.9%.
  • In the UK, the FTSE 100 also gained rising 0.5%. The focus on the UK will turn to Brexit negotiations at the end of the week as PM Theresa may is set to deliver a speech to the UN on Friday outlining the progress made so far.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese equities played catch-uprising 2% following a holiday on Monday.

Market Headlines 18/9/2017

US

  • US stocks advanced on Friday, rising 0.2%, leading to a total weekly gain of 1.6%, the biggest weekly advance since January. Up 12% since January, the S&P 500 is on course for its best annual gain in four years.
  • Among the index sectors, technology shares rebounded and banks climbed with Treasury yields.
  • The US 10 year rate is now over 2.21%, having risen from lows of 2.04% at the start of the month. An inflation data release last Thursday which beat expectations helped to shift market expectations surrounding the next Fed policy move.
  • The Federal Reserve will announce their latest policy rate decision on Wednesday of this week.

 

Europe

  • European stocks fell, reducing their biggest weekly gain in two months, as a retreat in banks outweighed a rally in carmakers.
  • The Stoxx 600 lost 0.3%, reducing its gain for the week to 1.4%, auto producers advanced 0.8% and banks lost 0.9% in the worst performance among industry groups.
  • In the UK, equities also declined, falling 1.1% widening the weekly index drop to 2.2%.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. The Japanese yen dipped 0.3% against the dollar, extending Friday’s 0.5% drop.
  • Hong Kong-listed Chinese shares rallied overnight gaining 0.4%, led by a rise in brokerages after China relaxed rules on index futures trading.

 

Market Headlines 13/9/2017

US

  • US. stocks extended their climb yesterday, rising 0.3%, in a broad-based advance as volatility ebbed.
  • In currency news, there was a pause in the dollar’s two-day climb as traders await economic data for clues on the pace of U.S. interest-rate increases.
  • Tomorrow’s US inflation data release will be crucially important for the market surrounding Fed policy expectations.

 

Europe

  • European stocks rose 0.5%, to close at the highest level since July, signalling growing risk appetite.
  • Out of 19 industry groups in the index, 13 groups gained with banking sector stocks leading the charge up 1.7% as investors continue to sell down bond positions driving up interest rates.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities tracked the gain in U.S. stocks. Shares in Japan continued to gain, rising 0.5%, as the yen weakened against the dollar. Chinese equities held steady advancing just 0.1%.

Market Headlines 12/9/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 Index rose the most since April, gaining 1.1%, closing at a record high. The move came after hurricane Irma weakened and North Korea refrained from an expected missile test.
  • The yield on the US ten year rose to 2.14%, its biggest one day jump since January. Yields have come under pressure in the US recently due to decreased market rate hike expectations.
  • The dollar also gained yesterday with the EURUSD rate falling back below the $1.20 level.

 

Europe

  • European equities gained for a fourth day, rising 1.4%, the longest winning streak for the index since mid-July.
  • All 19 industry groups gained with insurance stocks leading the charge, rising 2.3%, after a weakened hurricane Irma helped relieve concerns.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities extended gains, with Japanese and Chinese equities rising 0.3% and 5.2% respectively. The move came after U.S. stocks rose to a record as Hurricane Irma wreaked less damage than forecast and the United Nations’ sanctions against North Korea weren’t as stringent as expected.

Market Performance

Market Headlines 8/9/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 closed flat yesterday. Within sectors, Healthcare was the standout performer, gaining 1.1%, while Banks (-1.8%) and Insurers (-1.9%) were hit respectively by lower bond yields and concerns of damage from Hurricane Irma.
  • 10-year US treasury yields moved to a new YTD low during the day yesterday, settling 6bps lower at 2.04%. This move occurred following comments from ECB President Draghi (more below), moves in European bond yields, and a weaker US dollar.
  • In FX markets, the euro gained 0.9% against the dollar following upbeat comments from Mario Draghi. This marks only the second occasion that the euro closed above the $1.20 level since January 2015.

 

Europe

  • European equities outperformed their US peers yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index gaining 0.4%. The German DAX index (+0.7%) also outperformed despite a strong day for the euro.
  • The key event for the session was the press conference from ECB President Mario Draghi, with primary focus being on any clues on the ECB’s view on recent euro strength.
  • Draghi commented that the ECB Council view recent moves in the euro as a sign of robust economic fundamentals. The ECB also upgraded this year’s growth forecast from 1.9% to 2.2%.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities closed lower overnight. Japanese stocks fell 0.6% as all 11 sectors finished in negative territory.
  • Chinese export growth numbers this morning indicate a slowdown in growth, the second consecutive month of lacklustre export numbers.

Market Headlines 7/9/2017

US

  • US. stocks edged higher Wednesday, rising 0.3%, as energy stocks climbed with crude oil and shares of financial companies reversed some of Tuesday’s losses.
  • Oil and Gas Sector stocks rose 5.9% yesterday following the 1.5% rise in the oil price.
  • In economic news, President Trump agreed on a three-month debt-limit extension in the US ensuring funding for the Government to the end of the year.

 

Europe

  • European stocks also advanced, gaining 0.4%, as carmakers jumped to a seven-week high, offsetting a decline in travel and leisure companies.
  • Market attention will be focused on the ECB meeting today. Draghi has held off announcing plans surrounding QE tapering since first alluding to it at the Sintra conference in June.
  • The currency has gained strongly against the dollar since June which poses a headwind to inflation forecasts. A steady return to 2% inflation supports the argument for QE tapering. Despite the improving growth outlook within the Eurozone the challenge for the central bank will be to begin dialling down quantitative easing while providing assurance that any moves will be gradual.

 

Asia

  • Asian stocks were mixed, giving up some early gains, as investors weighed a U.S. deal that ensures the funding of its government through mid-December against persistent geopolitical tensions. Japanese stocks gained 0.2% while Chinese equities lost 0.4%.

 


Market Headlines 6/9/2017

US

  • US. stocks fell, declining 0.8%, ending a six-day rally, as tensions with North Korea mounted and another Atlantic hurricane threatened to make US landfall.
  • In line with the move in stocks, U.S. 10 year Treasury yields fell amid lingering unease over North Korean plans for a ballistic missile launch, while Hurricane Irma threatened a region already dealing with the devastation from Harvey.
  • Oil climbed for a third day, rising 2%.
  • In currency news, the dollar lost ground against the euro following dovish comments from Fed Governor Lael Brainard.

 

Europe

  • European equities fell 0.3% as investors assess geopolitical risks tied to North Korea’s nuclear test ahead of a meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday.
  • A recent survey indicates that investors expect Draghi will carefully express concern over the euro’s strength, but will wait until the October meeting to outline the future path of the asset-purchase program in detail.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, most stock markets fell as nations grapple with how to deal with escalating provocations from North Korea.
  • Chinese equities were flat overall and Japanese equities declined 0.1% as the yen approached its strongest level year to date.

Market Headlines 5/9/2017

US

  • US markets were closed yesterday for the Labour Day holiday.
  • The S&P 500 rose 1.4% overall last week after gaining 0.2% on Friday. News surrounding the North Korea nuclear test over the weekend is likely to weigh on US stocks today.

 

Europe

  • European equities fell yesterday after a North Korea nuclear test on Sunday triggered a fresh round of geopolitical tensions.
  • The Euro Stoxx 50 Index declined 0.4% after gaining 0.6% last week.
  • Technology and Banking stocks were among the worst performers on the index yesterday falling 0.8% and 1% respectively.
  • The euro remained steady against the dollar yesterday rising above the $1.19 level. The European Central Bank will hold their latest monetary policy meeting on Thursday. Market reaction to the messaging after this meeting is likely to translate into some volatility in the currency.

 

Asia

  • Japanese shares declined for a second day falling 0.6% as the yen strengthened following the news of North Korea’s largest nuclear test to date.
  • In China, equities gained slightly despite a strengthening yuan.

 

Market Headlines 4/9/2017

US

  • US Stocks gained 0.2% on Friday while Treasury yields rose leading to bond price declines. The moves followed a weaker than expected August payrolls report, a labour market measure that investors look to for an indication on Fed Policy direction.
  • In other economic releases on Friday, U.S. factory releases reflected the fastest pace of expansion in six years and consumer sentiment climbed to a three-month high amid an improving outlook for household finances and the economy.

 

Europe

  • The Stocks Europe 600 Index gained for a third day, rising 0.7%, with media companies among the winners after Vivendi SA sales beat estimates.
  • In currency news, the euro fell against the dollar after Bloomberg News reported that the European Central Bank may not be ready to finalize its decision on next year’s bond-purchase plan until before the current program expires.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese shares fell, declining 0.9%, as the yen strengthened against most peers following North Korea’s nuclear test on Sunday.
  • Chinese equities were unchanged despite the yuan currency rising to a 15-month high as North Korea’s nuclear test further supported recent bullish sentiment on the currency.

 


Market Headlines – 1/9/2017

US

  • US stocks closed higher for a fifth consecutive session yesterday, gaining 0.6%, with Healthcare the standout performer.
  • The dollar oscillated between gains and losses yesterday as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker currency is “somewhat better” for trade. Mnuchin also said that the Administration has a “very detailed” tax reform plan, adding they expect to push it through before year-end.
  • Crude Oil retraced the previous sessions decline and finished almost 4% higher for the session. Oil prices have now gained 17% from their lows in June.
  • The key data release today will be the US jobs report. Market consensus is for 180,000 jobs in August following the 209,000 jobs added in July.

 

Europe

  • European equities also closed higher yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index gaining 0.5%.
  • Data released on Thursday showed that eurozone inflation rose faster than expected in August, while the area’s unemployment rate held steady at its lowest level since 2009. Final August PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) data for Germany, the Eurozone, UK, France and Italy are due out this morning.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities largely finished higher overnight ahead of the US jobs report today. Manufacturing PMI data out of China was slightly stronger than expected.

 

Market Headlines 30/8/2017

US

  • US. stocks closed 0.1% higher yesterday, recovering from losses at the start of the session following North Korea’s firing of a missile over Japan.
  • Despite no significant change in the US economic backdrop, investor concerns surrounding North Korea is translating into a weaker dollar and lower rate hike expectations.
  • Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries fell to the lowest this year and the dollar weakened to the lowest level in more than two years against the euro.

 

Europe

  • European equities lost 1%, falling to levels not seen since April, as renewed geopolitical risks from North Korea added to the drag from a strengthening euro.
  • The region’s currency rose above $1.20 for the first time in more than two years, a level that fund managers and strategists have called the “pain threshold” at which the currency could threaten a long-awaited earnings revival.
  • Germany’s exporter-heavy DAX Index fell 1.5%, among the worst developed-market performers.

 

Asia

  • Equities gained in Asia overnight, with Japanese and Chinese indices gaining 0.7% and 0.1% respectively. In Japan the yen pulled back from a four-month high against the dollar, helping to spur appetite for technology and automaker shares.

 

Market Headlines 29/8/2017

US

  • Equity markets began the week on a cautious note while the US dollar remained under pressure following the absence of monetary policy clues in Jackson Hole speeches last week.
  • The S&P 500 finished broadly flat yesterday, with Healthcare and Technology the primary outperformers and Financials and Energy notable laggards.
  • Oil prices fell 1.0% as participants priced in lower levels of disruption to supply from Texas refineries following Tropical Storm Harvey. The dollar index fell 0.6% against a basket of peers and settled at its lowest level since May 2016.

 

Europe

  • European equities underperformed their US peers yesterday, closing 0.5% lower as Real Estate and Media stocks underperformed. The German DAX fell 0.4%, the French CAC slipped 0.5%. UK equity markets are set to reopen today following yesterday’s bank holiday.
  • The euro traded 0.4% higher against the dollar, touching $1.1977 and adding to the common currency’s 1.0% move against the greenback on Friday.

 

Asia

Asian stocks fell and the yen gained overnight after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan, an act which is likely to further heighten tensions with the US. Japanese stocks settled 0.5% weaker with Consumer Discretionary and Telecoms contributing the most losses.


Market Headlines 28/8/2017

US

  • US stocks had a moderately positive session on Friday following the highly anticipated Jackson Hole speeches from key central bank figures. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, with Telecoms and Energy contributing the most gains.
  • Oil prices moved higher as observants watched the progress of Storm Harvey towards Texas. Brent Crude settled 0.7% higher and buoyed Energy stocks.
  • The primary event of interest this week is likely to be Friday’s US jobs report. Consensus expectations are for the US economy to have added 180,000 jobs in August and for the pace of wage growth to accelerate to 2.6% versus the 2.5% seen in July.

 

Europe

  • European equities failed to hold intra-day gains on Friday and ultimately settled 0.2% lower. All major indices across the continent settled marginally weaker.
  • The euro traded above $1.19 against the dollar on Friday as Mario Draghi failed to talk down the common currency at his Jackson Hole speech on Friday.
  • UK equity markets are closed today for a bank holiday today.

 

Asia

A mixed session for Asian equities overnight as investors weigh the damage from Tropical Strom Harvey on US oil refining centres. Japanese stocks closed unchanged while Chinese equities gained 0.6%.

Market Headlines 23/8/2017

US

  • US stocks and the dollar rebounded yesterday as an absence of further negative news from the Administration in Washington DC and a lull in tensions between the US and North Korea encouraged a more risk-on mood.
  • The S&P 500 gained 1.0%, with Technology and Materials stocks providing the most gains. Energy stocks were also boosted by a robust session for oil prices which rose after a 2.0% slide in the previous session.
  • The dollar reversed recent weakness, gaining 0.5% against a basket of currencies. The greenback traded 0.5% higher against both the euro and sterling respectively.
  • The positive session for risk assets was also evident in fixed income markets as the US 10-year yield rose 3bps (prices fell) to 2.21%.

 

Europe

  • European equities also rebounded from recent weakness, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index settling 0.9% stronger. Euro weakness boosted the export-heavy German DAX index which gained 1.4%.
  • European bond yields also traded higher yesterday (prices fell) with the most action in Italian government bond yields which traded 7bps higher to 2.10%.
  • Flash PMIs – Purchasing Managers’ Index: a key barometer of growth in an economy – are due to be realised in Europe today. Growth has been robust on these measures over previous months and are likely to be the key areas of focus today before the central bank symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, tomorrow.

 

Asia

A muted session in Asia overnight, with Japanese equities settling marginally higher and Chinese stocks marginally lower.

Market Performance:

Market Headlines 22/8/2017

US

  • US stocks began the week on a cautious note, inching 0.1% higher, as participants continue to focus on political uncertainty in Washington and simmering tensions between the US and North Korea.
  • The dollar remained under pressure yesterday, trading 0.5% lower against the euro to $1.1808 ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday.
  • Oil prices came under pressure following Friday’s large gain, with Brent Crude settling 2% lower. Base metals, however, enjoyed a strong session as Copper, Aluminium and Zinc all traded higher.

 

Europe

  • European equities began the week on the back foot, declining 0.7% with most sectors finishing in negative territory.
  • The German DAX index fell 0.8%, Spain’s IBEX lost 0.3% and France’s CAC index declined 0.5%.

 

Asia

A muted session for Asian equities overnight as Chinese stocks settled marginally higher and Japanese indices closed broadly unchanged.


Market Headlines 21/8/2017

 

US

–  US stocks closed 0.2% lower Friday, erasing intra-day gains into the close as US political risk continued to dominate. Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, became the latest high-ranking official to leave the White House on Friday.

–  The standout fall in stocks for the session came from the retail sector, with Footlocker’s share price declining 28% on poor results, highlighting the pressure that online retailing continues to have on traditional brick and mortar businesses.

–  Oil prices, however, bucked the trend among risk assets, gaining 3.3% following positive US inventories data.

 

Europe

–  European equities mirrored moves in the US, trading 0.5% lower. Real Estate and Media stocks were the primary underperformers for the session.

–  A key area of focus for markets this week will be the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which begins this Thursday. Markets will be looking for any details of how central banks will exit from their ultra-accommodative policies, with a key focus on a speech to be delivered by ECB President Mario Draghi.

 

Asia

–  Asian equities were mixed overnight. Chinese equities rose 0.5% as investors favoured growth markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

–  Japanese stocks, however, declined 0.4% as angst over terrorist attacks in Europe and simmering tensions between the US and Japan’s neighbour North Korea have been a boon to the yen as a safe-haven.

Market Headlines 11/8/2017

US

  • US. stocks declined, falling 1.4%, as geopolitical tension between the U.S. and North Korea continued to sap global equity markets.
  • In economic news, US inflation data will be released today. U.S. inflation has missed estimates for four months in a row, but July may have broken the streak. The market will be focused on the latest inflation print for an indication surrounding when the Federal Reserve will resume raising interest rates.
  • Oil declined 1.5% yesterday following rising investor scepticism over whether OPEC-led production cuts are draining a global glut fast enough, weighing on prices and driving crude toward a second weekly loss.

 

Europe

  • European equities fell for a second day, falling 1%, as geopolitical tensions between North Korea and the U.S. persisted.
  • Banking sector stocks retreated the most in more than three weeks, falling 1.5%
  • Basic Resources stocks also came under pressure following weakness in the oil price, falling 0.5%.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese stocks were unchanged despite strong moves in the yen. The yen rose to the strongest in eight weeks against the dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump intensified warnings to North Korea, triggering demand for safer assets.
  • Chinese equities fell 1.5% as the yuan fell the most since January after the central bank set its fixing for the currency weaker than the market expected.

Market Performance

 

Market Headlines – 10/8/2017

US

  • US Stocks were unchanged yesterday as U.S. President Donald Trump heightened his rhetoric against North Korea to an unprecedented level.
  • In currency news, the dollar was little changed, with the Swiss franc registering the best performance against the greenback as the increased geopolitical tension drove investors towards safe haven assets.
  • The focus for the US remains the inflation data release tomorrow. Yesterday St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who advocates keeping interest rates low, said progress toward the inflation target “has been undone” this year. “I’m not too optimistic that we will have higher inflation” on an annual basis by the end of 2017, he said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday. “We’ve got a ways to go.”

 

Europe

  • European stocks declined, falling 1.3%, amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea after the two countries exchanged threats.
  • The decline in equities was felt across the broad market as all sectors were down at the end of the trading day.
  • Banking stocks fell 2%, the most in three weeks, as Wednesday marks a full decade after BNP Paribas froze funds that were exposed to U.S. subprime mortgages. Euro- area lenders are still down about 70% since the start of the credit crunch.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, tensions among US and Korea continued to weigh on stocks. Chinese equities declined 0.5% and Japanese equities were unchanged.

 


Market Headlines 1st August 2017

US

  • US. equities were relatively steady yesterday, falling just 0.1%, as the focus remains on earnings.
  • In political news, after the collapse of the Obamacare repeal, Republicans may have to choose between pursuing another health bill or pushing through a tax overhaul this year, as there’s almost certainly not enough time to do both.
  • Yesterday, 10 days after his first appointment, Anthony Scaramucci was removed from his new job as White House communications director on John Kelly’s first day as chief of staff in the White House. The move adds to the long list of changes seen in Trumps administration since he first took office.

 

Europe

  • European stocks fell for a third day, declining 0.5%, as a retreat in automobile shares offset a rally in financial services firms.
  • Carmakers lost 0.8% to end the session at the lowest level this year. The auto index has lost 6.5% in the past two weeks amid allegations that the German’s major automakers colluded to limit the pace of technological advances in their vehicles and stifle competition.
  • Financial services companies rose 0.7%, widening the sector advance this month to 0.1%.
  • In currency news, the euro hit a fresh intra-day high. European stocks have been hurt by a strengthening euro which has fuelled concerns for European earnings.

 

Asia

  • Overnight in Asia stocks advanced as Japanese and Chinese equities gained 0.3% and 0.1% respectively

Market Performance

Market Headlines 31/7/2017

US

  • US stocks and the dollar ended the week on a cautious note Friday, with Technology among the laggards for the session following results from Amazon that fell short of consensus expectations. Tepid US wage growth and the latest setback to the Republicans plans to repeal Obamacare weighed on the dollar.
  • Tobacco stocks were in sharp focus Friday following news that US regulators might force producers to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes. Altria Group, the largest cigarette company in the US and owner of the Marlboro brand, fell 9% following the news.
  • Oil prices extended recent strength as Brent Crude settled at $52.52 per barrel, 2% higher for the session and up 9% for the week, its largest weekly gain this year.
  • Corporate earnings will remain the primary focus for markets for the week ahead with 130 companies listed on the S&P 500 –  including Apple, Pfizer and Time Warner – set to report. Of the 57% of companies on the S&P 500 that have reported results already, 73% have posted better-than-expected earnings.

 

Europe

  • The weak US session and the stronger euro weighed on European equities Friday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.7% while the export sensitive German DAX index settled 0.4% lower. Tobacco stocks also dragged the FTSE 100 lower as British American Tobacco (BATs) and Imperial Tobacco fell 7% and 3% respectively.
  • The Bank of England is set to deliver its latest monetary policy decision on Thursday this week. Economists expect the bank rate to remain unchanged at 0.25% while commentary on inflation and the reinvestment of bond proceeds will remain in focus.

 

Asia

  • This morning in Asia, Chinese equities have strengthened despite July manufacturing PMIs (Purchasing Managers’ Index) which were a bit softer than expectations. A firmer Yen weighed on Japanese equities which closed marginally lower.

 


Market Headlines 28/7/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 rallied from intra-day lows to close only marginally down. Technology stocks continued to be of focus with mixed share price response to results released last night – Amazon falling 3%, but Intel beating and rallying by the same amount.
  • The Energy sector benefited from returning strength in the oil price: now up almost 9% in a month to $51 a barrel.
  • US Healthcare reform stalled again with Senate Majority Leader, Mitch Mc Connell, withdrawing the Senate version of the Republican’s healthcare reform bill following its failure to pass in the Senate yesterday.
  • Separately, the Republican leadership announced that they were abandoning plans to introduce a Border Adjustment Tax as part of the overhaul of the US tax code. This proposal, when initially announced, had a material negative effect on the share prices of some importers and US retailers. The ending of the tax proposal should be taken positively by the stocks of these companies.
  • Market attention is on the release of Q2 US GDP today.

 

Europe

  • Mixed markets in Europe – Telecoms led the market (+1.3%) with Healthcare being the biggest laggard (-1.2%) driven down by the 15% fall in UK Healthcare company, AstraZeneca, following poor news on the development of one of its key drugs
  • The Euro and Sterling both fell (0.5% and 0.4% respectively) against the US dollar as yields on German Government bonds and UK Gilts slipped vs US Treasuries.

 

Asia

  • A weaker session across the board following the US lead.

Market Headlines 27/7/2017

  • US. stocks fluctuated, while Treasuries turned higher (yields lower) and the dollar slipped after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and signalled it will start unwinding its balance sheet “relatively soon.”
  • The S&P 500 Index swung between gains and losses. Corporate results from AT&T to Boeing bolstered equities earlier in the session.
  • Treasury yields turned lower as the Fed indicated inflation continues to run below its target. The Fed said near-term risks to the economic outlook appear “roughly balanced,” even as inflation remains persistently below the 2 percent target. The start of balance-sheet normalization — possibly as soon as September — is another policy milestone in the economic recovery.
  • Oil held gains, rising 1.5%, as government data showed U.S. crude stockpiles shrank to the lowest level since the start of the year, easing a global glut.

 

 

Europe

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.5%, with the earnings season entering its busiest period. The benchmark index is still down about 3.5% from a peak in May, hurt by worries that a recent rally in the euro could derail Europe’s earnings recovery.
  • Today will be a busy day for Europe with companies worth more than $3 trillion are set to report their accounts.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese stocks gained 0.1% whilst Chinese equities remained unchanged.
  • Japanese shares rose as technology companies gained on optimism over corporate earnings, overshadowing a decline in banks after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled that inflation remains persistently below its target.

Market Headlines 26/7/2017

US

  • US. stocks rose for the first time in four days, rising 0.3%, as earnings season picked up pace with energy and financial stocks leading gains.
  • The energy sector gained 3.2% after industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles plunged, easing a glut and sparking the highest close for oil in 7 weeks with a gain of 3.3%.
  • Financial companies advanced 1.3%, bolstered by higher Treasury yields.
  • Markets took a risk-on tone following generally positive earnings and economic data bolstered confidence in the strength of the global economy. The data come as the Fed will weigh robust global growth against feeble inflation and mixed U.S. economic data today. Expectations are for policy makers to keep rates on hold; clues to the fate of its balance sheet will be key.

 

Europe

  • Gains in lenders boosted European stocks for the first time in four days, with earnings reports also moving some shares. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.6% yesterday.
  • Banking names advanced 1.8% yesterday, the biggest contributor to the positive index gains.
  • In economic news, a substantial degree of accommodative monetary policy is still needed to help ease inflation pressures, European Central Bank Executive Board member Yves Mersch said yesterday.

 

 

Asia

  • Markets were mixed in Asia overnight, Japanese stocks were up 0.5% with Chinese equities down 0.1%. A broad-based rally in commodities from oil to copper underpinned gains in producers of raw materials in Asia.

Market Headlines 25/7/2017

US

  • US. stocks ended mixed with the S&P declining 0.1%, while Alphabet Inc. slipped in after-hours trading as its results disappointed.
  • The dollar stabilized after falling to a 15-month low to start a week packed with corporate results and a Federal Reserve rate decision.
  • The Fed is expected to make no change to policy tomorrow with investors and economists parsing the statement for clues on how officials plan to proceed in reducing the Fed balance sheet.
  • Oil gained 1.1% after Saudi Arabia Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al-Falihsaid promised deep cuts to crude exports next month to help ease a global glut.
  • S. crude stockpiles probably fell for a fourth week through July 21, according to a Bloomberg survey before government data tomorrow.

 

Europe

  • European stocks were unchanged yesterday as automakers fell for a third day, declining 1.2%, following concerns surrounding antitrust collusion in the industry.
  • In currency news, the euro fell for the first time in three days against the dollar, following disappointing German manufacturing data. Investors and analysts are increasingly focused on trends and the levels seen in the currency as significant appreciation could dampen this year’s long-awaited earnings revival in Europe.
  • Almost a third of the companies in the Stoxx 600 are scheduled to report results this week.

 

Asia

  • In Asia overnight, Japanese and Chinese stocks retreated falling 0.1% and 0.3% respectively.

 

Market Headlines 21/7/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 edged lower Thursday following a weak session for the dollar following comments from Mario Draghi and the failure of the latest US healthcare reform bill.
  • Telecoms and Utilities were the best performing sectors on Wall Street, while Energy stocks were mixed as Brent Crude briefly traded above $50 a barrel before reversing gains and settling 0.8% lower.
  • US bond yields were broadly unchanged for the session, while dollar weakness helped gold grind out a 0.3% gain.

 

Europe

  • The strength of the euro weighed on European equities yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index and German DAX trading marginally lower. The UK’s FTSE 100, however, outperformed as Sterling dipped 1.4% and 0.4% lower against the euro and US dollar respectively.
  • The euro climbed to its highest level against the dollar in two years following comments from ECB President Mario Draghi. Mr Draghi said the central bank saw signs of “unquestionable improvement” in euro zone growth and pointed to plans for policymakers to begin discussing possible changes to its quantitative easing program later this year.

 

Asia

  • A muted session in Asia overnight. Japanese equities settled 0.2% lower as the Yen was little changed, and Chinese indices traded broadly flat.

Market Headlines 20/7/2017

US

  • US equity markets, led by Healthcare, Energy and Materials stocks, rose to fresh record highs yesterday, as the S&P 500 gained 0.5%.
  • The US dollar rebounded off 10-month lows against a basket of peers as the euro traded lower ahead of the ECB meeting today. The dollar is trading at $1.152 having been as high as $1.158 on Tuesday.
  • Brent crude further extended recent strength yesterday, gaining 1.8% and trading within touching distance of $50 a barrel following bullish US inventory data.

 

Europe

  • Technology stocks led European equity indices higher. The Euro Stoxx 50 index gained 0.6%, while recent euro strength continued to weigh on German equities.
  • The market awaits the latest monetary policy decision from the ECB today, three weeks after Mario Draghi spooked bond investors by arguing that “deflationary forces” had been vanquished. Economists widely expect the ECB to leave interest rates unchanged.

 

Asia

  • As expected, there was no change to monetary policy from the Bank of Japan (BoJ) this morning. However, inflation forecasts for the year were revised lower and they have pushed out the timeline to reach the 2% inflation target until 2020.
  • The Yen traded marginally lower following the release from the BoJ, helping to boost the performance of Japanese equities, which settled 0.6% stronger.

 


Market Headlines 19/7/2017

US

  • The US dollar slid to a 10-month low against a basket of currencies yesterday as the failure of Republicans to push through healthcare reform cast doubts over the likelihood of the Trump administration’s infrastructure and tax reform agendas.
  • The S&P 500 was little changed for the session, however, remaining within touching distance of Friday’s record close. Technology stocks in particular continued their recent trend of outperformance as the tech-heavy Nasdaq index rose to a new high.
  • The leg lower for the dollar coincided with a drop in bond yields. The yield on 10 year US Treasury bonds fell 5bps to 2.26%. In oil markets, rumours that Saudi Arabia was considering a cut to exports helped Brent crude recover some of the previous days declines. Oil prices ultimately settled 0.9% higher.

 

Europe

  • The strength of the euro weighed on European equity markets yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index declined 1.1% and the German DAX – which contains a number of large export-sensitive stocks – fell 1.3%.
  • Euro/Dollar traded within a whisker of $1.16 yesterday – a key technical level – placing further importance and investor focus on the language used and any signals of policy changes from Mario Draghi at the ECB meeting tomorrow.
  • Sterling generally bucked the trend as it traded 0.1% lower against the dollar. Weaker than expected UK inflation data was interpreted as giving the Bank of England some breathing space in its interest rate policy.

 

Asia

  • Asian equities finished higher overnight as the dollar recovered from a 10-month low. Chinese equities were the standout performer, gaining 1.4%, while Japanese indices were buoyed by weakness in the Yen.

Market Headlines 18/7/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 closed fractionally lower yesterday, broadly holding Friday’s record highs. Basic Materials stocks were the primary outperformer for the session, buoyed by strong gains in metal prices following upbeat Q2 Chinese GDP growth figures.
  • The dollar traded marginally lower against the euro, extending recent weakness post the disappointing inflation data. It was also a muted session for government bonds, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury trading 1bps lower.
  • Oil prices settled 1% weaker, giving back some of the commodity’s strong 5.2% gain last week. Gold prices benefitted from further weakness in the dollar, rising 0.5%.
  • Futures indicate a marginally soft open to the US trade later today on signs that the healthcare reform bill is effectively dead in its current form, casting a cloud on President Trump’s broader economic reform agenda.

 

Europe

  • European equity markets broadly finished lower yesterday, as the Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.3%. However, strong gains for Mining stocks helped boost the UK’s FTSE 100 index, which settled 0.3% higher.
  • There was little surprise from the final June consumer inflation price index data yesterday, with headline inflation confirmed at 1.3% yoy. June inflation data is due out of the UK today, where market expectations are for headline inflation are at 2.6% yoy.

 

Asia

  • Asian stocks broadly traded lower overnight. Japanese equities fell 0.6% as Yen benefited from the risk-off mood and further dollar weakness.

 

Atlas Copco

Q2 slowdown contrasts with Q1 strength

Q2 results released yesterday for Atlas Copco, leading Swedish industrial (leader in industrial tools and compressor technology), highlighted strong, but weaker-than-expected, growth in sales (+18% yoy vs +22% expected) and adjusted operating profits (+30% yoy vs +34% expected). Market expectations had risen after a very strong Q1, but Q2 results highlighted a surprising lack of improvement in pricing power for the company in the period. Consensus earnings forecasts are likely to be revised down by low single digit percentages. Following yesterday’s almost 7% drop in the share price, Atlas Copco, held in the Goodbody Global Leaders fund, has risen 12% in 2017.

 

Market Headlines 17/7/2017

US

  • The S&P 500 closed at a fresh record high Friday, advancing 0.5%, despite a 0.5% decline for Financials and soft consumer inflation and retail sales data. Real Estate and Technology stocks were the biggest outperformers for the session, gaining 1.1% and 0.9% respectively.
  • Financials underperformed the broader market as investors were left underwhelmed by a batch of US bank earnings. The sector will remain subject to close scrutiny as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America report results this week.
  • US treasury yields fell following the disappointing inflation data release, touching 2.27% at one point before settling at 2.33% (-1bps on the session).  The US dollar also weakened following the broadly disappointing economic data, trading 0.7% lower against the Euro.

 

Europe

  • European equities underperformed their US peers on Friday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index finishing marginally lower.
  • Investors await the latest monetary policy decision from the European Central Bank on Thursday this week, three weeks after Mario Draghi spooked bond investors by arguing that “deflationary forces” had been vanquished. Economists widely expect the ECB will leave interest rates unchanged.

 

Asia

  • Chinese Q2 GDP growth figures were released this morning. Q2 GDP printed at 6.9% yoy, unchanged vs Q1 but ahead of market expectations for 6.8% yoy.

Chinese equities initially sold off at the open of trade, likely reflecting the stories of potentially more stringent financial regulation following the PBOC conference over the weekend. However, indices recovered from the lows following the GDP data release, ultimately settling 1.7% lower.

 


Market Headlines 14/7/2017

Market Headlines

US

  • US equities rose within touching distance of record highs amid renewed optimism that the Federal Reserve would maintain a gradual path of policy normalisation, while the dollar steadied and US treasuries gave back some of the previous sessions gains.
  • Oil prices rose for a fourth consecutive session, with Brent closing up 1.4% at $48 per barrel. The Canadian dollar hovered around its 12-month high following the Bank of Canada’s decision to raise interest rates.
  • US producer prices, a key measure of inflation, rose 0.1% in June (vs expectations of no change) as sustained increases in the cost of services offset declining energy prices. Consumer price inflation data is due to be released today.
  • US earnings season starts to ramp up today with JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all scheduled to report either at or prior to the open of the US session.

 

Europe

  • In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 index rose 0.4% while a move higher for sterling weighed on UK stocks, with the FTSE 100 closing broadly unchanged.
  • In fixed income, European sovereign debt sold off, with the yield on 10-year German debt rising 2bps to 0.53%. Italian and Spanish yields rose 5bps and 7bps respectively.

 

Asia

Japanese stocks largely extended recent gains, rising 0.1% overnight, bringing the weekly gain to close to 1%. Energy and Industrial stocks were the leading gainers overnight, both rising 1.1%.

Market Headlines 12th July 2017

US

  • Fresh concerns about the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russia during last year’s presidential election helped fuel a brief bout of selling on Wall Street that took the S&P 500 down as much as 0.6 per cent intra-day. However, the US equity market benchmark settled just 0.1% softer by the close of trading, as strength for the energy sector helped limit losses. Technology stocks also outperformed.
  • US bonds continued to recoup some of their recent losses, as 10-year yields settled 1bps lower. The US dollar, however, experienced further losses against the euro, trading 0.4% lower and settling at $1.1439.
  • Focus will now turn to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony to Congress over the next two days. Markets will be closely watching for any comments on inflation given the central bank’s view that subdued price pressures will prove temporary.
  • US producer and consumer price inflation data is also due on Thursday and Friday this week.

 

Europe

  • European equities broadly underperformed their US peers yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index falling 0.4%. European bond markets also experienced further weakness, closing 1-2bps higher across the board.
  • Crude oil prices staged a strong intra-day recovery, settling 1.4% higher having been 1.5% lower at one point during the session.

 

Asia

Japanese equities closed 0.5% weaker, with all 11 sectors settling lower, after the Yen gained 0.5% against the US dollar, its largest single day gain in 3 weeks.

Market Headlines: 10/07/2017

US

  • Equity markets in the US finished last week on the front foot. The S&P 500 closed 0.6% higher on Friday following the broadly positive employment report, with tech stocks leading gainers.
  • Friday’s employment report highlighted strong employment growth in the US last month (222k jobs added in the month versus expectations of 178k). However, wage growth, a key driver of inflation, remains elusive, coming in at +0.2% month-on-month versus expectations of +0.3%.
  • US bond markets were relatively unmoved on Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury moved up 2bps (prices fell) to close at 2.39%. The US dollar gained 0.2% Friday while Gold fell 1%, reaching its lowest level since March.
  • Key data releases this week include US inflation readings on Thursday (CPI – Consumer Price Index) and Friday (PPI – Producer Price Index), German and French inflation readings (both Thursday), and US retail sales numbers on Friday.

 

Europe

  • European equity markets were little moved on Friday as the Euro Stoxx 50 index settled a modest 0.1% higher. However, for the week the index did gain 0.7% and so snapping a run of four weeks of consecutive declines.
  • European bond markets were a little bit more mixed on Friday following positive industrial production data releases. Yields on German 10 year bonds rose modestly (prices fell), outperforming the periphery which finished 6-9bps higher, led by Portugal after they pushed back a bond auction to this week.

 

Asia

Japanese equities gained 0.8% this morning, boosted by a weaker Yen. Tech (+1.8%) and Real Estate (+1.5%) led the index higher.

 

 


Market Headlines: 23/6/2017

US

  • US stocks closed flat as the S&P500 continued to trade in a tight range this month (but up almost 10% this year) and oil prices (Brent crude + 0.9%) getting some relief following recent torrid sessions.
  • The Healthcare sector was one of the best performers yesterday (+1%) as the Senate released its health care reform bill. The proposal includes some provisions that are friendly to Healthcare companies (eg to eliminate some taxes). A vote on the bill is expected to be held next Tweek.
  • The Fed released Part I of its annual bank stress tests. The 34 largest US banks all cleared Part I for the third consecutive year (this tested if banks have enough capital to return cash to shareholders). In Part II, the Fed will determine if it approves of the banks’ specific capital plans. This will be released next week.
  • So far this quarter, Healthcare (+8.3%) and Technology (+6.2%) are the best-performing sectors, despite the headlines highlighting the latter’s recent weakness.

Europe

  • European equities also closed flat. Mirroring the US, Healthcare stocks (+1.9%) led the market in anticipation of the release of the US Senate Healthcare reform bill.
  • Energy stocks meanwhile trimmed their losses during the session, closing 0.3% lower.

Asia

  • A muted session for Asian stocks overnight with Japanese equities broadly unchanged.
  • China was off 0.5% – the positive news this week that 222 mainland Chinese stocks are to be included in the MSCI Emerging Market benchmark is being accompanied by greater scrutiny of outstanding issues to further open up Chinese markets.

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