Stock markets closed out the week in positive territory as investors wagered that central banks will be able to tame inflation without derailing the global economy, writes Ian Slattery.
More growth-orientated sectors such as technology and communication services outperformed. Energy stocks saw choppy trading as the price of oil fell below $100/barrel for the first time in two months early in the week before rebounding.
On the economic data front, June’s US non-farm payrolls report surprised to the upside, with 372,000 jobs added. Although the previous two months were revised slightly downwards, the Q2 monthly average was 375,000.
Hiring was strong across different economic sectors, and the unemployment rate was steady at 3.6%. Wage growth, which has recently garnered attention in the context of inflation, moderated to 0.3% over the month and was generally seen as a positive. Wednesday’s US inflation print will be closely watched.
Last week, Global PMI data confirmed that the global economy is slowing but remains firmly in expansion territory. The Federal Reserve minutes from the June meeting were also released last week. The statements clearly indicated that the committee constituents were broadly comfortable with the 0.75% June hike. There was nothing in the release to suggest that the Fed will deviate from its hiking path over the coming months. The equivalent ECB release also confirmed that a 0.25% move higher will come at next week’s meeting, with a 0.50% move on the cards for September.
Overall, the market is firmly focused on central banks and their respective remits of capping inflation without derailing economic growth. Therefore, markets this week will continue to be moved by economic data releases and what side of the scorecard they support.
Global stocks were up last week by 3.9% in euro terms and 1.4% in local terms. Year-to-date global markets are down -9.1% in euro terms and -18.7% in local terms. The US market, the largest in the world, was up 4.6% in euro terms and 2.1% in local terms.
Fixed Income & FX
The US 10-year yield finished at 3.06% last week. The German equivalent finished at 1.30%. The Irish 10-year bond yield finished at 1.88%. The Euro/US Dollar exchange rate finished at 1.01, whilst Euro/GBP finished at 0.85.
Oil finished the week at $102 per barrel and is up 53.1% year-to-date in euro terms. Gold finished the week at $1,738 per troy ounce and is up 6.7% year-to-date in euro terms. Copper finished the week at $7,795 per tonne.
The week ahead
Wednesday 13th July
US CPI for June goes to print.
Thursday 14th July
Australian unemployment and US PPI data are released.
Friday 15th July
US Retail Sales and Industrial Production figures are published.
About: Zurich Investments
The team at Zurich Investments is a long established and highly experienced team of investment managers who manage approximately €31bn in investments of which pension assets amount to €18.4bn. Find out more about Zurich Life’s funds and investments here.
The team at Zurich Investments is a long established and highly experienced team of investment managers who manage approximately €31bn in investment of which pension assets amount to €18.4bn. To find out more about Zurich Life’s funds and investments, w: zurichlife.ie/funds,