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0611 2023

Market Insights

Market Insights – Week 45

Bas Kooijman

As we start a new week, let's take a look at the significant events in the global economy over the past week with our weekly financial update, presented by Bas Kooijman, the CEO and Asset Manager of DHF Capital SA.

The S&P 500 Index witnessed its best weekly gain since November 2022, propelled by signs of a slowing economy and a dovish Federal Reserve policy statement, leading to a significant drop in long-term bond yields. Growth stocks, particularly in the technology sector and the

Nasdaq Composite Index, outperformed, with the small-cap Russell 2000 Index leading the gains. The market was also influenced by institutional investors adjusting their portfolios for tax purposes before the fiscal year-end. The Fed's decision to keep rates steady, combined with a positive reaction to their post-meeting statement, further buoyed investor sentiment. However, the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, its highest since early 2022, with a modest increase in average hourly earnings. Despite this, productivity growth estimates were encouraging, and

Treasury funding fears eased somewhat with the announcement of a reduced sale of long-term securities.

European markets rebounded, with the STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 3.41%. Major indexes across Italy, France, Germany, and the UK also saw significant gains, fueled by expectations that interest rate hikes may have reached their peak. Bond yields across Europe declined, reflecting these optimistic sentiments. The Bank of England held interest rates at a 15-year high, projecting a stagnant economy in 2024. Inflation in the Eurozone slowed more than expected to 2.9%, and the economy contracted by 0.1% in Q3. Germany's economy shrank similarly, and its unemployment rate rose unexpectedly. Meanwhile, Norway's central bank kept rates steady but hinted at a potential increase in December.

Japanese stocks saw gains, with both the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX Indexes rising around 3%. Despite a tweak in the Bank of Japan's yield curve control policy, its monetary stance remained accommodative, contributing to a weaker yen. The BoJ also raised its inflation forecasts for the coming years. The Japanese government introduced a fiscal stimulus package exceeding USD 110 billion, aiming to stimulate growth and address rising living costs. In China, stocks also gained amid speculation that U.S. interest rates might have peaked. However, manufacturing activity contracted in October, and the property market continued to slump, with new home sales and real estate loans declining. Despite recent stimulus measures, concerns persist about the housing market's impact on China's overall economic growth, with projections indicating a possible slowdown in GDP growth next year.

In conclusion, the global financial landscape remains dynamic, with the U.S. experiencing a surge in market optimism, Europe grappling with monetary policy implications, and Asian markets like Japan and China navigating through a mix of fiscal stimuli and sectoral challenges, reflecting the intricate tapestry of the world's interconnected economies.

Bas Kooijman

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