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Article | 22 November 2021 | Investments
US equity indices were mixed, with growth sectors outperforming. European indices were little changed, despite the rapid climb in Covid-19 infection rates. Japanese markets were steady in advance of a new stimulus programme, while China shrugged off a fund-raising round from its beleaguered property sector.
US Treasury bonds rallied a little as the week ended, on reports of further pandemic lockdowns in Europe, where a similar pattern was seen in core Eurozone markets. In the corporate bond markets, high levels of investment grade issuance was easily absorbed, while high yield bonds were pulled lower by the energy sector.
The US dollar hit a sixteen-month high, as both the euro and the yen weakened in response to indications from their respective central banks of a prolonged dovish stance.
Oil prices moderated somewhat, while natural gas prices in Europe touched €100, as Germany put approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on the back burner.
President Biden’s $1.75 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ stimulus package, featuring social security and climate impact measures, was passed by the House of Representatives.
US October retail sales jumped 1.7%, the strongest gain since March, while September data were revised higher.
The European Central Bank promised 'patience' on interest rate policy, as Eurozone October CPI inflation hit 4.1%.
Japan announced a fiscal stimulus package worth $690 billion, acknowledging its relatively slow rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Flash PMI data from around the world are expected to indicate improvements in the Manufacturing sector, while the Services sector could show widespread declines.
Trading is likely to remain quiet ahead of the Thanksgiving Day market holiday in the US on Thursday.