A generally positive week for stock markets globally. Optimism of economies reopening bode well for markets, despite some European countries seeing higher cases and extended lockdown measures. Investors continue to keep a watchful eye on inflation.
US: Investors weigh optimism of reopening against rising inflation
With a strong start to the week, the S&P 500 ended the week up 1.6%, as bond yields fell modestly. Investors seemed to continue weighing optimism about reopening against inflation and interest rate concerns. Inflation appeared muted for February.
Asia: Chinese stocks post positive returns
The CSI 300 ended the week up 0.6% due to a rally on Friday, led by consumer stables and healthcare stocks. This was the first positive weeks following 5 weeks of declines in China. Since a record high in mid-Feb the CSI 300 has shed 15%.
Europe: Additional restrictions and hopes of economic recovery
The EuroStoxx 50 was up 0.8% on hopes of an economic recovery, reversing losses stemming from concerns about additional restrictions to curb the spread of the virus and threat of the EC to halt vaccine exports. Lockdowns are extended in several countries.
UK: More than half of adult population has received first dose
The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 gained 0.6% and 0.4% respectively. The British pound ended the week weaker at 1.38 dollar per GBP. Inflation unexpectedly slowed down in February. Over 30 million people have received at least one dose of vaccine.
The Week Ahead
• In the UK, GDP, consumer credit and housing data released
• In Europe, inflation and consumer confidence data released
• In the US, focus will be on the $3 trillion spending commitment to Build Back Better