March 28, 2023

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On Thursday, there was a surge in US stocks due to new jobless data and strong corporate earnings. But, the same could not be said for bond markets, as they continued their sell off with investors betting on hikes in interest rates globally. Early trading showed that there was a 0.88% increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, while a 1.12% jump was seen in the S&P 500. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite, which had recorded losses a day earlier, also advanced by almost 1.65%. There was also a 0.82% improvement in the MSCI World Equity Index, which keeps track of shares of about 45 countries.

Netflix’s announcement this week of seeing its subscriber numbers decline for the first time in more than a decade resulted in a massive slump. Fortunately, this was set off by forecasts of airlines about returning to profitability in this quarter, along with strong Tesla earnings. There was another boost awaiting the markets when the Labor Department disclosed that there was a decline in the number of Americans looking for jobless benefits. The first week of this month saw unemployment figures reach their lowest number in the last 52 years. Market experts said that the jobless claims had still been higher than expectations, but they have reached historically low levels.

This shows that the demand for labor in the United States is extremely strong. In other news, investors were once more trained on updates on the Russian-Ukraine war, as the conflict is contributing to inflationary pressures globally, which would result in a hike in interest rates. Later on, Christine Lagarde, the chief of the European Central Bank, and Jerome Powell, the head of the US Federal Reserve, are scheduled to speak at a panel of the International Monetary Fund. The 10-year German Bund yields are once more moving towards a peak in seven years.

There was a 2.9% gain in US Treasuries, while the yields in Italy reached their highest level since the initial COVID-19 panic that had hit back in March 2020. Markets believe that the Fed would hike up the rate by another half a percentage point in the next month. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a policymaker for the ECB said that they could increase rates for the Euro zone from July onwards. According to market experts, there is also pressure because of quantitative tightening, which means that the central banks are reversing the process of frantic printing of money.

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