Market Update

Markets update: Equities positive on cooler jobs data

By Business & Finance
04 September 2023
A single US dollar bill is held in the foreground, The image invites viewers to reflect on the Stocks Performance

Last week saw US equities show positive returns after a shaky August, showing their biggest weekly gain in over five weeks, writes Ian Slattery.

Positive sentiment from investors filtered through to markets as economic data releases showed some signs of cooling in the labour market. 

On Tuesday the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Figures for July job openings fell to 8.8 million, below expectations of 9.5 million and below the previous months 9.2 million reading. 

The labour market continues to be a focus-point for many investors as higher wages contribute to inflationary pressures. Lower numbers of job openings and a lower quit rate were taken by many investors to indicate a slow-down in the labour market which may potentially indicate lower levels of inflation. 

Further data throughout the week showed that the US unemployment rate increased to 3.8% in July, up from figures of 3.5%. Figures also showed that participation in the labour market increased to their highest levels since 2020 to figures of 62.8%. 

Finally, on Friday non-farm payroll figures showed that wage growth has decreased from 4.4% to 4.3% in July, further indicating a cooling in the labour market. Investors now expect the Federal Reserve not to raise interest rates this month, with equities rallying as a result. 

In the Eurozone, headline inflation figures released last week remained unchanged at 5.3%, missing expectations of a 5.1% reading. There was however more positive news for investors with the core reading of inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy sectors, reducing from 5.5% to 5.3%. 

In China, equities were positive, owing to stimulus measures introduced by the Chinese government to revive its ailing economy. China’s central bank most recently cut the reserve requirements for domestic banks, freeing up capital within the local economy.


Global stocks were up last week by 1.9% in euro terms and 1.9% in local terms. Year-to-date global markets are up 14.8% in euro terms and 16.3% in local terms. The US market, the largest in the world, finished at 2.0% in euro terms and 2.1% in local terms.

Fixed Income & FX

The US 10-year yield finished at 4.18% last week. The German equivalent finished at 2.57%. The Irish 10-year bond yield finished at 2.95%. The Euro/US Dollar exchange rate finished at 1.08, whilst Euro/GBP finished at 0.86.


Oil finished the week at $86 per barrel and is up 5.8% year-to-date in euro terms. Gold finished the week at $1,944 per troy ounce and is up 5.7 % year to-date in euro terms. Copper finished the week at $8,479 per tonne.

[Crosshead] The week ahead

Wednesday 6th September

US Manufacturing and Services PMIs are released.

Thursday 7th September

US Initial Jobless claims report is issued.

Friday 8th September

German CPI 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 €28.4bn in investments of which pension assets amount to €17.4bn. 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 €28.4bn in investment of which pension assets amount to €17.4bn. To find out more about Zurich Life’s funds and investmentsw: @ZurichLife

Warning: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance. Benefits may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates. The value of your investment may go down as well as up. If you invest in these funds you may lose some or all of the money you invest.