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Article | 09 August 2021 | Investments
Major US indices set new record highs, with bank shares rising on higher bond yields, although energy shares lagged. European markets rose on strong corporate earnings reports, which also boosted Japanese indices, in spite of escalating Covid-19 cases. Chinese markets saw bargain hunting, after recent sharp falls.
US Treasury bond yields climbed later in the week, and prices fell, after strong employment data, although demand for new issuance remained firm. Eurozone yields tracked lower, as the Delta variant spread. Investment grade credit markets weakened, while high yield bonds were supported by positive corporate earnings reports, particularly in the Eurozone.
The US dollar firmed against all majors, as Treasury yields rose. Elsewhere, sterling held up against the euro and the yen, as the euro lost ground across the board and the yen was broadly unchanged.
Oil saw volatile trading, suffering its sharpest weekly decline so far this year. Gold fell almost 3%, as bond yields moved higher.
President Biden announced his target for electric vehicles to be 50% of new car sales in the US by 2030.
US July non-farm payrolls beat forecasts to come in at 943,000, while the unemployment rate fell from 5.9% to 5.4%.
China’s Q2 GDP growth rate fell to 7.9% y/y from 18.3% y/y in Q1, as consumption and services sectors disappointed expectations.
The Bank of England left policy rates unchanged, but outlined a clear pathway for the tapering of its bond buying programme, as rates eventually rise.
US July core CPI inflation is forecast to moderate slightly at 4.3%, still driven by pandemic recovery sectors.
The Eurozone ZEW economic sentiment index looks likely to reinforce the moderating growth message seen in July PMI data.