Fisher Investments recaps the biggest market, political and economic news from last week, including additional US Federal Reserve fiscal measures, US weekly initial unemployment claims and German and UK February trade figures.
Global markets rose, despite continued COVID-19-related closures across most of the developed world. Importantly, several countries indicated they may de-escalate closures and remove restrictions earlier than expected. While this may not provide near-term relief to all those affected by the virus, we believe investors should take note of potential positives that allude to an eventual endgame to the current crisis.
US data were light in the holiday-shortened week. Unemployment claims totaled 6.6 million in the week ended April 4, relative to 6.9 million new claims in the prior week. The Fed announced additional actions to support households, businesses, and state and local governments. In total, these programs provide up to $2.3 trillion in additional loans. We believe fiscal measures cannot reverse the economic damage from COVID-19 containment policies, but these actions can help reassure investors, businesses and municipalities they will have access to liquidity and credit when they need it.
Data releases were also sparse in Europe. German February export values grew 1.3% m/m, while import values fell 1.6% m/m. In the UK, February export values fell 5.8% m/m, while import values rose 3.0% m/m. February GDP fell 0.1% m/m, below expectations and industrial production in the rose 0.1% m/m, meeting expectations.
In Japan, the Conference Board’s February Leading Economic Index (LEI) fell to 90.2.
The Week Ahead:
The US releases March inflation data, LEI, retail sales, housing starts and industrial production. The eurozone will announce March inflation and February industrial production. China announces its initial Q1 2020 GDP estimate, March trade data and retail sales. Japan announces February retail sales and industrial production.
Source for all data cited is FactSet. This update constitutes the general views of Fisher Investments and should not be regarded as personalized investment advice. No assurances are made we will continue to hold these views, which may change at any time based on new information, analysis or reconsideration. In addition, no assurances are made regarding the accuracy of any forecast made herein. Global equities are represented by the MSCI World Index. The MSCI World Index measures the performance of selected stocks in 23 developed countries and is presented net of dividend withholding taxes and uses the maximum rate applicable to non-resident institutional investors who do not benefit from double taxation treaties. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A risk of loss is involved with investments in stock markets.