It was generally a positive week for stock markets globally, despite a weaker start. Inflation prospects seemed to weigh heavily on investor sentiment during the week as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commented on rising interest rates. Economic data highlights the strong global rebound in economic activity.
US: Markets up despite inflation concerns
The S&P 500 returned 1.3%. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged that rates may have to rise to prevent the economy overheating, which weight on markets. However, payroll numbers suggest the economy was not growing as fast as expected.
Asia: Positive economic data coming out of China
Japanese stocks rose 1.9%, despite the government extending a state of emergency in various regions. Investor optimism was supported by prospects of the global economic recovery. Chines stocks fell during the week, despite positive economic data.
Europe: Growing confidence moves markets higher
In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 2.0% on stronger-than-expected earnings results and growing confidence in an economic recovery, as some countries begin to ease their lockdowns. Economic data continues to point to a broad pickup in eurozone activity.
UK: Strong economic expansion for 2021
The FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 gained 2.4% and 1.3% respectively. The economy is likely to expand 7.25% this year, with government spending helping to limit job losses. The Bank of England said this recovery was “more of a bounce back” than a “boom”
The Week Ahead
• UK: focus election results, GDP numbers and manufacturing production
• Europe: A quite week with some inflation and industrial production figures released
• US: Focus on retails sales and inflation readings