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The significant events in the global economy over the past week

Autor: Financial Market
2 min

The U.S. stock market experienced a noteworthy uptick last week, buoyed by anticipatory signals from the Federal Reserve regarding potential rate cuts.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite soared to record highs, propelled by significant advancements in the technology and communication services sectors.

A standout moment was NVIDIA’s stock reaching an all-time high on Friday, pushing its valuation close to $2.4 trillion, largely fueled by the tech sector’s dynamism and rumors of a partnership between tech giants Apple and Alphabet in AI tools. Despite this, healthcare and real estate sectors lagged behind in gains.

The Federal Reserve’s policy meeting was a key driver of market sentiment, maintaining the federal funds rate while projecting three rate cuts in 2024.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference post-meeting further assuaged investor concerns, particularly addressing the recent uptick in inflation and labor market stability.

Powell’s reassurances, coupled with the Fed’s economic projections, painted a cautiously optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy, fostering a positive environment for investors.

In Europe, the STOXX Europe 600 Index neared historic highs, buoyed by dovish central bank signals, with significant gains in Germany and Italy’s indices.

The Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to maintain its key interest rate, coupled with a dovish stance, signaled potential future rate cuts, contributing to a bullish market sentiment. The UK’s inflation slowdown and the PMI’s positive trends suggest an economy on the mend, further uplifting investor confidence.

In contrast, the Swiss National Bank’s unexpected rate cut, aimed at countering deflationary pressures and the Swiss franc’s appreciation, highlighted the nuanced policy approaches across Europe. Eurozone’s near-stabilization in business activity, as indicated by PMI surveys, suggests a cautiously optimistic outlook for the region.

These developments reflect a complex interplay of economic indicators and central bank policies shaping investment opportunities across the European markets.

Japan’s equity market rallied, driven by the yen’s depreciation and the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) unexpected hawkish policy shift, marking a significant departure from its long-standing negative interest rate policy.

This move, aimed at stimulating economic growth while keeping inflation in check, underscores a pivotal moment for Japan’s economic policy direction.

Conversely, China’s stock market faced headwinds, primarily due to ongoing concerns in the property sector, despite positive economic data such as industrial production and retail sales growth.

The government’s efforts to stabilize the real estate market and anticipations of further policy easing by the People’s Bank of China remain focal points for investors.

The contrasting scenarios in Japan and China exemplify the diverse investment landscapes in Asia, influenced by policy decisions, economic data, and sector-specific challenges.

In summary, the U.S. stock market experienced growth, led by positive regulatory signals and tech sector strength. In Europe, market indices rose, supported by dovish central bank stances, whereas in Asia, Japan’s market improved following a significant policy change, while China faced challenges due to its property sector, despite some positive economic indicators.