Stock-markets were mixed last week. The US was lower, Europe higher. Asia markets were generally lower with Japan bucking the trend.
In the US, each week seems to bring fresh news regarding the economy and inflation to change investors’ minds. Latest consensus is that the economy is proving surprisingly resilient and therefore the Fed will have to keep interest rates higher for longer. At least that’s the way economists surveyed recently by the Wall Street Journal are seeing it and recent comments from Fed policy makers appear to concur.
US earnings season is well under way and this coming week will see a number a major companies reporting, including Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook.
Last week’s US PMI data showed that business activity rose at its fastest pace in eleven months with both services and manufacturing expanding.
In the UK, data showed that inflation slowed less than forecasted. Annual price growth in March eased to 10.1% (9.8% expected). That’s the seventh consecutive month registering above 10% and suggests the Bank of England will have to continue raising rates.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is also having problems taming inflation and is widely expected to raise rates again next month.
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