Trading room at Zurich Life Investments Ireland
Market performance update
Economic and earnings data continues on upward trajectory, writes Ian Slattery. He reports on a busy week for the markets.
Economic data across the developed world continues to be solid, led by last Friday's better than expected US non-farm payroll report. The US labour market added 209,000 jobs in July, comfortably outstripping expectations - the June figure also saw a modest upward revision. The unemployment rate also dipped to 4.3%; marking a 16 year low.
The eurozone also saw GDP and inflation data continuing their respective upward trajectories. However, this contributed to the euro hitting a three year high versus the US dollar, and the currency's strength is a key focus for the market.
It was also another busy week for earnings in the US. With roughly 80% of the S&P 500 having now reported, the positive trend continued with over three quarters of those reported beating bottom line expectations.
The global index returned 0.4% for the week and is now up just over 3% in 2017. Commodities slipped slightly from last week, as Gold (-0.9%) and Silver (-2.9%) moved lower. Oil also fell following a strong rise the week before, and closed at just above $49.50 per barrel.
US 10 year Treasuries prices rose, with the yield (which moves inversely to price) falling to 2.26%, from 2.29% a week previously. The equivalent German yield closed the week at 0.47%, down from 0.54%. The Euro continued its 2017 trend versus the US dollar, closing the week at a rate of $1.18.
The week ahead
Tuesday 8th August: Earning seasons continues to wind down, but there are still a number of major companies reporting in the US this week, including both Snap and Walt Disney.
Thursday 10th August: The UK reports its latest trade balance, where the consensus forecasts expects the deficit to narrow to -£2.4bn, versus the last reading of -£3.1bn.
Friday 11th August: The June industrial production figures for the eurozone go to print, where a 3.6% year-on-year rise is expected.