Global stocks ended the week 0.5% higher amid plentiful economic data.
US economic data were mixed and political noise dominated headlines. January import prices rose a sharp 3.7% y/y, largely driven by volatile oil prices. December consumer credit climbed slightly less than forecast. However, labor data reflect a healthy economy—December job openings ticked down slightly from November to 5.501 million, but remained near cycle highs. Similarly, weekly jobless claims fell more than forecast and are near cycle lows. December wholesale inventories rose by 1.0% m/m, meeting expectations.
In the UK, Brexit uncertainty continued to abate after Parliament voted to give Prime Minister Theresa May the power to invoke Article 50 and begin exit negotiations with the European Union. UK economic data were broadly positive. December industrial production accelerated 4.3% y/y, well ahead of the 3.2% forecast. Similarly, December manufacturing production and construction output both rose faster than expected. January housing prices fell slightly, as forecast.
In the eurozone, economic data were light. The eurozone retail Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) dropped modestly—from 50.4 in December to 50.1 in January.
In Asia, Chinese trade data reflect a robust economy—January imports climbed to 16.7% y/y and exports rose 7.9% y/y, beating expectations. Japanese data were broadly positive. December bank lending rose 2.5% and core machinery orders rose 6.7% y/y, well ahead of the 4.6% y/y forecast. January M2 money supply met expectations, growing 4.1% y/y.
The US, eurozone and China report consumer prices. The US releases January industrial production and February homebuilder sentiment. The eurozone reports Q4 2016 GDP, and the UK reports January unemployment and retail sales. For more updates on market events, please visit www.MarketMinder.com or call your Investment Counselor.
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 a Luxembourg tax basis. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A risk of loss is involved with investments in stock markets.