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Weekly market review

Week ending 18th March 2016


Stocks

The UK stock market closed the week slightly up at 6189.64 whilst in the US the market reached a 2016 high. Positive economic data, as well as the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to keep interest rates on hold and scale back rate-increase forecasts, helped boost the index. In Japan, the TOPIX fell 1.0% as continued currency strength kept pressure on exporters.

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Fixed Income

In international markets, cautious central banks sent yields down, with the UK, Japanese and German 10-Year bond yields falling to 1.452, 0.218 and -0.09 respectively. The US 10-Year Treasury yield fell to 1.87%, reflecting the reserved statements and muted rate-increase outlook at the Fed.

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Currencies

Monetary policy dominated currency moves. The pound strengthened against the US dollar, closing on 1.447, as the Fed’s Chair Janet Yellen announced a likely two interest rate rises this year, as opposed to the previously stated four, weakening the US dollar and driving speculators to sell the currency in favour of others, including sterling. The euro continued to trend higher, testing the $1.13 mark, as positive economic releases offered further support. The yen strengthened to ¥111.62 versus the dollar following the Bank of Japan announcement of the potential for additional easing measures.



Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude oil rallied this week, rising above $40/barrel following increasing demand, motivated by cautious comments from central banks around the globe. A meeting amongst oil producers has been set for 17th April in order to discuss the stabilisation of the oil market.

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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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