Global Economic Update - Week Ending 4th April 2014
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Yesterday saw the ECB (European Central Bank) meeting in Brussels. Prior, the IMF held a conference where by the head, Ms. Christine Lagarde stated that she still had concerns regarding the global economy and that regardless of projected Global Economic Growth of 3% over the next two years there still needed to be caution and that the ECB needed to address the inflation situation. This pre-empted the ECB meeting and highlighted that even though Europe appears to be in recovery, it is vital that the Eurozone stabilize and balance out the current deficit between its member nations, particularly in light of the situation in Eastern Europe having its flames stoked by NATO and its plans to increase its presence in Eastern Europe, much to Moscow's concern..
Markets in Asia have been surprisingly muted on Friday trading after a good couple of days following positive global data. Earlier in the week the regions indexes were at near four month highs off the back of an announcement by the Chinese Government laying out their initial steps for stimulus. Looking to infrastructure and small business they intend to complete several rail networks over the course of the next two years and continue a grant for reduced taxes on small firms until 2016. This will be funded in part by the sale of government bonds totaling ¥150Bn. Japan continued to raise concern after a surprisingly poor Factory Output figure for was down 2.3% on the previous month. This was released the day before Japan's sales tax was increased from 5% to 8%. The Nikkei has been taking a pounding lately and it will take some strong initiatives to turn it around.
Nikkei 225 at 15,046.32 (-0.17%) Hang Seng at 22,509.76 (-0.25%)
SSE Comp at 2,043.70 (-0.74%)
As mentioned, the big news out of Europe was the ECB meeting held on Thursday. Many expected very little by way of major announcements by Mario Draghi, the ECB President, and they were not wrong. Although very committed, they are still a ways away from making any firm decisions regarding the Eurozone and a way forward. Concerns over the five year low inflation rate were addressed but no resolution was put forward. Currently at 0.5% it is far from the target of 2% set by the bank. Only hints that the European Central Bank may need to follow other central banks and implement some form of QE stood out and this action is now looking more and more likely as member nations who are turning the corner are starting to appreciate this may be the best option. Keeping interest rates at 0.25% was seen as a precursor to a move by the ECB in the very near future.
FTSE 100 Closed at 6,649.24 (-0.15%) Dax Closed at 9,628.82 (+0.06%)
CAC 40 Closed at 4,449.33 (+0.42%)
BEL 20 Closed at 3,147.13 (+0.10%)
IBEX Closed at 10,584.10 (+1.42%)
Zurich SMI Closed at 8,521.63 (+0.16%)
US indexes had a great mid week. Data announced on Wednesday drove the markets higher and helped the S&P 500 reach its highest recorded level, closing at 1,890.90 off the back of positive data from Manufacturing Output and Construction. General consensus is that the poor weather over the New Year was the main cause of negative data early in the year is hoped to be the case and backed up by data expected later today. All the gains of Wednesday were pared on Thursday as the US reacted to the less than direct statements from the ECB. A lot is expected today as March Payrolls will be announced. This will be a key indicator as to whether the weather theories are true and figures in the region of 200 - 220,00 should help prove them and show that the United States is getting back on its feet. US Futures are level but be prepared for a late rally if the payrolls data hits the right spot.
Dow Jones Closed at 16,572.55 (-0.00%)
NASDAQ Closed at 4,237.74 (-0.91%)
S&P 500 Closed at 1,888.77 (-0.11%)
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