Weekly market review
Week ending 23 September 2016
The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision this week to hold back on interest rate changes does not rule out a year-end policy move, but UK investors took comfort from their current stance and the UK stock market reached a five-week high on Thursday, closing the week above the 6,900 mark. Other global markets reacted positively too, with the US stock market up 1.2% and the Euro Stoxx 600 index up 2.3%, despite a slip on Friday after disappointing Purchasing Managers’ Index data (Indicator of economic health of the manufacturing sector).
The UK 10-year government bond yield fell to its lowest level in two weeks, at 0.732% as a result of diminishing UK investor confidence in a post-Brexit recovery. Following the Fed’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged, US 10-Year treasury bond yields fell to a two-week low of 1.6%. This movement could be short-lived, as Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated a rise by year-end is likely. The 10-Year Japanese bond yield edged down only slightly following the Bank of Japan’s decision to maintain its current bond purchase pace.
The pound fell in a week of seesaw trading, rising on Thursday after one Bank of England policymaker argued against further interest rate cuts, but falling on Friday after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hinted at an earlier-than-expected start to Brexit negotiations (in early 2017). The US dollar fell 0.5% for the week.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil ended with a slight gain, at $44.5/barrel, off the back of a third weekly drawdown in US crude oil inventories and support from the US dollar. Oil pared Friday gains on speculation that production cuts will not be reached at a meeting among major crude oil exporters members next week.
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Source: Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Adapted by FundCalibre. This material is for information purposes only and does not in any way constitute financial advice.