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Article | 20 September 2021 | Investments
Most major stock markets fell last week, as concerns over Covid-19 and economic growth dampened risk sentiment. In the US, the S&P 500 fell 0.6%, while the tech-focused Nasdaq lost 0.7%. In Europe, the Euro Stoxx lost 0.9% - although the Spanish and Italian markets were slightly higher. Chinese stock markets fell sharply, pushed lower by fresh Covid-19 outbreaks and the ongoing debt crisis at Evergrande.
US 10-year Treasury yields rose (and prices fell) over the week, on the back of strong retail and manufacturing data. European government bond yields followed suit. Investment grade credit markets were stronger in the US but weaker in Europe.
The safe-haven US dollar saw inflows, and the US Dollar Index rose 0.7%. The Japanese yen also rose over the week, while the euro and sterling were weaker.
The oil price rose last week, with Brent Crude gaining 3.3% to finish at $75.30 per barrel. Gold was 1.9% lower at $1,754 per ounce. Copper – and the wider industrial metals sector – also fell over the week.
The US and EU made a joint agreement to reduce methane emissions by 30% over the next decade. Methane has a global warming potential more than 80 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
US CPI inflation came in below expectations, at an annualised rate of 4% for August.
An unpublished report from the European Central Bank suggested that the bank expects to hit its inflation target in two years.
In China, August Industrial Production of 5.3% year-on-year failed to match forecasts, as orders were turned away due to current delivery constrictions.
The US Federal Reserve meeting later in the week could give new insight into the central bank’s current thinking, in particular over the tapering of its bond buying programme.
On 26 September the German public will vote for a new Bundestag (or federal parliament), with expectations for a coalition of two or three parties to emerge.