You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Article | 19 April 2021 | Investments
Nearly all major stock markets rose last week. In the US, the S&P 500 gained 1.4% on the back of promising retail sales and unemployment data. In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 also gained 1.4% while the FTSE 100 finished 1.5% higher. The MSCI Emerging Markets index rose 0.7% over the week, led higher by Brazil and Russia despite a 0.7% fall for the Chinese stock market.
Global government bond prices rose last week (and yields fell). In the US, the 10-year Treasury yield ended the week at 1.58%. Investment grade corporate bond prices were higher in the US, but very slightly lower in Europe. High yield bond prices were also slightly higher in both regions.
The US dollar was weaker against the euro, sterling and the yen last week. Sterling rose against the dollar, the euro and the yen. The euro was weaker against the pound and the yen, but rose against the dollar.
It was a good week for oil prices, as the International Energy Agency upgraded its oil demand forecast. Brent Crude rose 6.1% to finish at $66.80 per barrel. Gold rose 1.9% to $1,776 per ounce, while copper rose 3.2%.
Asset manager BlackRock voted against a long-running board member of Woodside Petroleum, a large Australian oil and gas producer. The vote was a protest against the company’s failure to publish reduction targets for its ‘Scope 3’ carbon emissions (all direct and indirect emissions from the company’s whole supply chain).
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that support would be provided until ‘substantial progress’ has been made towards full employment in the US.
US retail sales figures for March 2021 came in ahead of expectations, surging 9.8% against an expected 6%.
The latest Chinese GDP data showed an 18% rebound in economic growth during the first quarter of 2021.
US earnings season will continue, with quarterly earnings releases from Netflix, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and many other companies.
The European Central Bank will hold a press conference, giving fresh insight into its stance on monetary policy, and a possible further acceleration of its bond buying programme.