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Weekly Market Report

25 Feb 2019

25 February 2019


The Market Last Week

Global equities ended mostly firmer last week, amid hopes of progress in US-China trade negotiations.

UK Markets ended the week in negative territory, amid ongoing concerns over Brexit negotiations.

UK’s ILO unemployment rate recorded an unchanged reading at a 44-year low rate in the October-December 2018 period.

Annual average weekly earnings including bonus recorded a less-than-anticipated advance in December.

The CBI total trend orders rebounded in February.

Public sector net borrowing posted a more-than-expected surplus in January.

European Markets ended the week on a positive footing, amid hopes that the US and China would soon finalise a trade deal.

The Eurozone’s current account surplus narrowed in December.

Construction output in the Eurozone dropped on a monthly basis in December.

The Eurozone’s Markit manufacturing PMI declined more than market forecast to a 68-month low level in February.

In the Eurozone, consumer price inflation slowed for a third consecutive month to its lowest level in nine months on a yearly basis in January.

The Eurozone’s ZEW survey economic sentiment index rose in February.

The consumer confidence index in the Eurozone advanced more than market forecast in February.

The services PMI in the Eurozone jumped more-than-anticipated in February, notching its highest level in 3 months.

Germany’s ZEW survey current situation index fell more than market anticipations in February.

Germany’s producer price index rose less than expected on an annual basis in January, hitting its lowest level in eight months.

The Markit manufacturing in Germany recorded an unexpected fall in February, reaching its lowest level in 74-months.

Germany’s consumer price inflation slowed to an 11-month low level on an annual basis in January.

The Ifo survey business climate index in Germany declined more-than-expected for a sixth consecutive month in February, hitting its lowest level since December 2014.

Germany’s Ifo survey expectations index unexpectedly dropped in February.

In Germany, the Ifo survey current assessment index fell more than market forecast in February.

Germany’s services PMI surprised with an advance in February.

The ZEW survey expectations index in Germany advanced more than market forecast in February, recording its highest level in five months.

Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) recorded an unchanged reading on a quarterly basis in the fourth quarter of 2018.

US Markets ended the week in green, amid positive developments in the US-China trade talks.

The NAHB housing market index climbed more than market expectations in February.

The MBA mortgage applications rebounded in the week ended 15 February 2019.

Initial jobless claims fell more than market forecast in the week ended 16 February 2019.

The services PMI climbed more than market anticipations in February.

The Philadelphia Fed business outlook declined more than market forecast in February.

The Markit manufacturing PMI registered a more-than-expected drop to its lowest level in 17 months in February.

Monthly durable goods orders rose less than market forecast in December.

The leading index recorded an unexpected decline in January.

Existing home sales unexpectedly dropped to a 3-year low level on a monthly basis in January.

Asian Markets ended firmer last week, mirroring gains in their US counterparts.

Australia’s ANZ Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence index advanced in the week ended 17 February 2019.

Australia’s Westpac leading index declined on a monthly basis in January.

The CBA manufacturing PMI in Australia registered a decline in February.

Australia’s CBA service PMI recorded a fall in February.

Unemployment rate in Australia recorded an unchanged reading in January.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), in its latest monetary policy meeting minutes reported that the central bank is unlikely to change its interest rate in the near future. Meanwhile, the board members would keep a close watch on economic conditions and interest rates. However, the bank warned over weakness in the housing market and downside risks to the economic outlook.

China’s new home prices rose at its weakest pace since April 2018 on a monthly basis in January.

Japan’s national consumer price index (CPI) climbed on a yearly basis in January, meeting market expectations.

In Japan, the flash manufacturing PMI declined in February.

Japan’s merchandise trade deficit widened more-than-anticipated in January.

The final leading economic index in Japan recorded a drop in December.


Currency Update

The EUR ended firmer against the USD, as investors awaited for signs of how the Eurozone’s economy is performing.
The British Pound ended stronger against the greenback, amid hopes that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be avoided on 29 March.
The US Dollar ended mostly weaker against its major counterparts last week, amid growing optimism over US-China trade talks.


FOMC meeting minutes: Policymakers expressed uncertainty over rate hike in 2019

The FOMC minutes indicated why the Federal Reserve (Fed) decided to remain patient with monetary tightening and how they would deal with its balance sheet. The minutes also showed extensive discussion of market conditions. Further, the officials expressed uncertainty over whether they would increase interest rates again in 2019. Meanwhile, members stated that holding the federal funds rate in a target range of 2.25% to 2.5% would pose few risks at this point.


The Week Ahead

Going ahead this week, investors will keep a tab on the Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell’s testimony, the US Dallas Fed manufacturing PMI, housing starts, building permits, house price index, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index, consumer confidence index and the MBA mortgage applications along with advance goods trade balance, pending home sales, factory orders, durable goods orders, initial jobless claims, GDP, the Markit manufacturing PMI, the ISM manufacturing index and the Michigan consumer sentiment index for further direction. Additionally, the Markit manufacturing PMI across the Eurozone, the Eurozone’s business climate indicator, unemployment rate, CPI, economic and consumer confidence indices along with Germany’s GfK consumer confidence index, CPI and unemployment rate will be on investors’ radar. Also, UK’s BBA loans for house purchase, the BRC shop price index, the GfK consumer confidence index, net consumer credit, mortgage approvals and the Markit manufacturing PMI will attract significant investor attention.


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