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Earnings season picks up pace

Equities move higher as earnings season takes hold and Eurozone manufacturing PMI data, due to be published tomorrow, will provide insights into the key economic performers. Ian Slattery reports.

Equity markets continued to test all-time highs last week as the US Senate approved a $4 trillion budget measure that should help pave the way for tax reform, which is now a key focus for the administration.

Earnings season also picked up pace last week, where over 14% of the S&P 500 has now reported - with 70% beating earnings-per-share expectations. The yield on the bellwether US 10-year treasury rose over the course of the week; helped by the Senate budget agreement.

Markets were also focused on speculation as to who will replace Janet Yellen as Fed Chair, with a decision expected in the first week of November. In Europe tensions in Spain deepened as the central government took steps to impose direct rule on Catalonia, as the president of the region refused to back down on his succession demands.

Zurich Global Markets Index

The global index moved higher last week, returning a positive 0.3%. Gold and Copper both faltered, returning -1.7% and -0.2% respectively.

Oil continued its recent upward trend, returning 1.5% whilst closing above $50 per barrel. The influential US 10-year bond yield moved to 2.25% from 2.20%, on the more hawkish sentiment from the Fed. The German equivalent stood at 0.45% from 0.43% a week ago.

The week ahead

Tuesday 24th October: Flash eurozone manufacturing PMI data is released for October, which will give an early insight into how the key economies in the currency bloc performed last month.

Thursday 26th October: No change in policy is expected when the ECB meets for its latest interest rate decision. However, the commentary will be closely watched for details on any potential QE tapering.

Friday 27th October: Preliminary GDP data for the US goes to print, with the Q3 figure forecast to come in at 2.5% (quarter-on-quarter).

About: Zurich Investments

The team at Zurich Investments is a long established and highly experienced team of investment managers who manage approximately €21.5bn in investments of which pension assets amount to €9.7bn. Find out more about Zurich Life's funds and investments here.

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