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Article | 25 October 2021 | Investments
Global equities were broadly positive last week, with the MSCI ACWI index gaining 1.3%. In the US, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 1.6% and 1.4% respectively, against a backdrop of strong corporate earnings. European and emerging markets were more mixed, with the Euro Stoxx 50 gaining 0.1% and the MSCI Emerging Markets index rising 0.7%.
Global government bond prices were broadly lower last week. In the US, Treasury bond prices faced downward pressure after retail sales rose unexpectedly on Friday, adding to beliefs that pandemic-era support could be withdrawn in the near future. In corporate bond markets, investment grade and high yield bond prices were lower in both the US and Europe.
The US dollar had a bad week, falling against the euro, sterling and the yen. The euro gained ground against the dollar and sterling, but fell versus the yen. And sterling rose slightly versus the dollar, but was weaker against the euro and the yen.
Oil continued to rise, with Brent Crude ending the week at $85 per barrel. Gold also had a positive week, gaining 1.4%. Meanwhile industrial metals suffered, and copper fell 4.9%.
AXA announced a new initiative to fight deforestation and protect biodiversity. The company will invest €1.5 billion towards sustainable forest management, while also strengthening its investment and insurance requirements for industries that contribute to deforestation.
Indebted Chinese property company Evergrande made a payment towards its overseas debt, just before the end of the grace period, avoiding default and potentially preventing contagion from the sector.
US earnings season continued in an upbeat fashion, with reports from Netflix, Procter & Gamble, and Tesla. The electric car manufacturer’s stock price hit a record high after beating earnings expectations.
Still in the US, the number of individuals seeking unemployment benefits dropped to a 19-month low in data released on Friday.
The UN Climate Change Conference (also known as COP26) will begin in Glasgow on Sunday. The conference aims to increase awareness and accelerate action towards tackling climate change.
GDP figures for major economies, including Germany and the US, will provide fresh insights into the current state of global economic growth.