March 28, 2023

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On Friday, the dollar fell and global stocks trod water, as investors were left hanging since they were waiting to see if they will finally reach a long-awaited agreement on a fresh stimulus package for COVID-19 relief. Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House Representative Speaker said that there was a possibility of getting another round of coronavirus relief before the U.S. presidential election. However, she said that it was up to Republican President Donald Trump to make the move, which included speaking to reluctant Senate Republicans, if he wants to. However, Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary said that making a deal would only be possible if Pelosi was ready to compromise. 

Investment strategists said that the stimulus package was just a waiting game. Reports regarding supposed progress in negotiations were just another form of teasing because the hopes are then dashed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.1% or 28.09 points to close at 28,335.57. The Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.4% or 42.28 points to close at 11,548.28 and the S&P 500 also settled up 0.3% or 11.90 points to close at 3,465.39. As far as weekly performance is concerned, the Dow declined by 0.9%, the Nasdaq 1.1% lower, and the S&P 500 down by 0.5%. 

The three index suffered on Friday due to the 10.6% slump that was seen in Intel Corp., after the chipmaker reported a decline in its margins. This fall was because of governments and businesses clamping down on data center spending due to the global coronavirus while consumers opted to purchase cheaper laptops. The dollar was also down by 0.2% against a basket of other currencies, which left it just a bit off of a seven-week low. It was set for a fall of 1% in the week, with the greenback being weighed down by the uncertainty due to the November 3rd U.S. presidential elections.

In national opinion polls, Joe Biden, the Democrat former vice president is leading, but the contest appears to be a lot tighter in some major states where the election is probably going to be decided. On Thursday, the final debate between Biden and Trump took place and it offered little direction and few surprises. European stocks appeared to do much better, as they received a boost due to positive earnings reports from Barclays and Airbus also surged. However, the markets also posted their biggest weekly slump in months due to nagging worries about the economic impact on the surging cases of coronavirus. 

The pan-European STOXX 600 index also broke a four-day losing streak, as it finally advanced by 0.6%. After Barclays climbed by 7% due to strong results, it allowed London’s FTSE 100 to outperform its European peers. As far as currencies are concerned, the pound declined against both the euro and the dollar because the UK Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) also declined to reach a four-month low. Nonetheless, it was still on track to end the week higher than last week due to the restarting of Brexit trade deal negotiations.

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