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Weekly market review

Week ending 19th February 2016


Stocks

For the first time this year, the US stock market enjoyed a positive three-day streak, ending the week up 2.9%. Japan’s stock market did even better, rising by 8% - its biggest weekly gain since 2009. China’s Shanghai Index grew 3.5% after their government signaled its willingness to further stimulate the economy. In Europe, stocks also moved higher and, in the UK, the FTSE 100, assisted by a rebound in oil prices, ended the week up 2.16%.

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Fixed Income

Mixed US economic data, continued concerns over weak global growth, and strained oil prices kept US bond prices down and yields relatively unchanged. The Japanese 10-year government bond yield ended the week down, near zero. Eurozone bond yields also fell as expectations for European Central Bank (ECB) monetary easing (action to reduce interest rates and increase money supply to stimulate economic activity) was reinforced by weaker-than-expected German producer prices. The UK 10-year government bond yield fell slightly to 1.4%.

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Currencies

Following consecutive weekly declines, the US Dollar index moved up 0.6%. Hints by ECB president Mario Draghi, that he would take further action to help stimulate Europe's economy, served to weaken the Euro. Commodity currencies (a name given to currencies of countries which depend heavily on the export of certain raw materials for income) were boosted by hopes for an agreement on oil production cuts among large producers. The pound weakened by 0.7% against the dollar.



Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose 0.7% and US crude oil inventories rose to new record highs. Four major oil producers - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela - announced an agreement to freeze production at January levels, reliant on other producers joining their efforts.

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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.


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