24th March - Market and Economy Review
Global Market Data as of Close of trading 24h March 2014
FTSE 100 6520.39 (-0.56%) Dax 9188.77 (-1.65%)
CAC 40 4276.34 (-1.35%) BEL 20 3052.28 (-1.04%)
Madrid IBEX 9913.10 (-1.39%) Zurich SMI 8198.02 (-1.11%)
Moscow MCIEX 1297.91 (-0.72%) Sydney ASX 5351.00 (-0.21%)
Nikkei 225 14473.21 (-0.01%) Hang Seng 21730.69 (-0.53%)
Shang SSE Comp 2066.28 (+0.91%)
Dow Jones 16276.69 (-0.16%) NASDAQ 4226.38 (-1.18%)
Economic news has been few and far between so far this week. China's official PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) which tracks the larger and government owned factories posted the same figures as last month, not moving at 50.2. The smaller index, HSBC's PMI posted lower figures. Down from 48.5 for February to 48.1 for March. Any score under 50 is seen as a contraction however the growth target for 2014 of 7.5% is still being looked at as achievable. Of more concern for the government are jobs and unemployment a local official was quoted as saying.
The markets in the US have been stagnant as the crisis in the Ukraine continues to cause concern and economists wait to see how Obama will react to the situation. Considering the current state of affairs between the two leaders this is seen as a way for Obama detractors to point the finger. With muted indexes in North America we look to some key economic data expected this week. Later today we will see New Home Sales and Consumer confidence figures and later in the week on Thursday, we will find out the GDP and Jobless claims figures. All of which will no doubt move the markets once they have been announced.
In Europe there has been continued reports of the Eurozone being in recovery. In fact, figures show that the economy has a whole has improved back to back for nine consecutive months. Data out of France has shown that the French economy is performing much better than previously expected. The private sector has grown against analyst opinion and posted a positive PMI according to the Markits Composite Purchasing Manager Index. February saw 47.9 on the index and March was up to 51.6.
This goes to add weight to reports that Europe has weathered the storm and is firmly on the road to recovery across all of its members. The economy as a whole in Europe is pegged to expand by 0.5%, a small increase no doubt but certainly a step in the right direction.
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