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Weekly Market Report

23 Mar 2021

23 March 2021

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The Market Last Week

Global equities ended mostly lower last week, amid ongoing uncertainty over the pace of global economic recovery.


UK Markets ended the week in negative territory, after the Bank of England warned that the outlook for Britain's recovery remained unclear.

In the UK, the GfK consumer confidence index improved in March.

Public sector net borrowing increased in February.

The Bank of England (BoE) kept its key interest rate steady at 0.1% and maintained its asset purchase facility at £895 billion, as widely expected. Further, the BoE upgraded its outlook for the British economy. The central bank indicated that it does not intend to tighten monetary policy at least until it is close to achieving the 2% inflation target. Moreover, members expect annual inflation to return to around 2% in the spring.




European Markets ended the week mostly higher.

In the Eurozone, the ZEW economic sentiment index unexpectedly rose in March.

Eurozone’s construction output grew in January.

In the Eurozone, consumer prices advanced for a second consecutive month in February.

Eurozone’s trade surplus narrowed in January.

In Germany, the ZEW economic sentiment index improved in March.

Germany’s ZEW current situation index climbed in March.

Germany’s producer price index rose less than expected in February.




US Markets ended the week in red, amid persistent worries over rising US Treasury yields and higher inflation.

In the US, the NY Empire State manufacturing index advanced to an 8-month high level in March.

Business inventories rose in line with expectations in January.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index surged to a 50-year high level in March.

In the US, industrial production unexpectedly dropped in February.

The NAHB housing market index dropped in March.

Building permits sharply fell in February.

In the US, housing starts dropped to a 6-month low in February.

Advance retail sales fell more than market forecast in February.

The MBA mortgage applications dropped in the week ended 12 March 2021.

US leading indicator rose less than market expectations in February.

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly advanced in the week ended 12 March 2021.




Asian Markets ended mostly firmer last week.

In Australia, the house price index advanced more than market anticipations in 4Q20.

Australia’s Westpac leading index rebounded in February.

In Australia, the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in February.

Australia’s retail sales unexpectedly dropped in February.

Japan’s industrial production advanced in January.

Japan posted a merchandise (total) trade surplus in February.

In Japan, the national consumer price index (CPI) fell in February.

The Bank of Japan kept its key interest rate unchanged at -0.1%.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in its meeting minutes, indicated that there will be no rate increases for a considerable time, at least, not until wages reach 3%, and that is not expected until 2024.




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Currency Update

The EUR ended lower against the USD last week, as some European countries suspended the use of Covid-19 vaccines and imposed fresh lockdowns.
The British Pound ended weaker against the greenback last week, after the European Union launched legal action against UK for unilaterally changing trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.
The US Dollar ended mostly stronger against its major counterparts last week.


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Fed expects interest rate to remain at near zero level though 2023

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) kept its key interest rate unchanged at 0.25% as widely expected. Further, the Fed expects rates to remain at near zero level through 2023. Additionally, the central bank reiterated it plans to continue purchasing bonds at a rate of at least $120 billion per month until "substantial further progress" has been made toward its policy goals.


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The Week Ahead

Going ahead this week, investors will keep a tab on the US new home sales, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index, durable goods orders, the Markit manufacturing and services PMIs, initial jobless claims, gross domestic product (GDP), personal income, the Michigan consumer sentiment index and personal spending for further direction. Additionally, Eurozone’s Markit manufacturing and services PMIs, the consumer confidence index, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde’ speech along with Germany’s Markit manufacturing and services PMIs, the GfK consumer confidence index and the Ifo indices will keep investors on their toes. Also, UK’s ILO unemployment rate, average earnings including bonus, Bank of England (BoE) Governor Andrew Bailey’s speech, the consumer price index (CPI), the PPI, the Markit manufacturing and services PMIs and retail sales would garner significant amount of investor attention.


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