Global Markets Weekly
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Charles-Henry Monchau Chief Investment officer

Stocks & bonds gain as US rate hikes odds dive

Investors appeared to welcome signs of a slowing economy and fading inflationary pressures. Indeed, disappointing US Macro data (PMIs, initial jobless claims, Housing data, Philly Fed leading indicators) drove US rate hikes expectations lower, pushing bond yields and the dollar downward and main stocks indices higher. The US Treasury 10-year bond yield was down to 2.73% on Friday morning, its lowest level in nearly two months. Within equities, small-cap shares and the Nasdaq outperformed. Consumer discretionary was the best performing  sector over the week helped by rebounds in and Tesla. It was also a busy week in terms of Q2 earnings reports; many companies are showing greater resilience in profitability and outlooks than expected. In Europe, the ECB raised interest rates by 50 basis points. This larger-than-expected adjustment was combined with the announcement of a new bond-buying tool called the Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI), which was introduced as a measure against the surge in “Periphery” spreads. European shares rose despite a series of discouraging economic data releases, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resignation and the ECB decision to raise interest rates. Core eurozone bond yields fell due to concerns about the economy. In Asia, China’s stock markets posted mixed returns after Premier Li Keqiang tempered expectations of excessive stimulus and indicated flexibility on China’s annual growth target. In Japan, the BoJ left its monetary policy unchanged. Japan’s stock market gained.