Weekly Market Insight

Latest Economic & Market Update 21st August 2020

21st August 2020

Good afternoon, it is August 21st 2020 and here is your economic and market update from BlackBee. 

Today’s focus:

  • Eurozone recovery slows in August
  • Asian stocks climb amid Chinese economic rebound
  • US job application spike again

The eurozone’s recovery from its deepest economic downturn on record slowed in August as demand increased, especially for services, as the pace of lockdown easing slowed, according to Reuters. After restrictions which meant businesses had to close and people to stay home were relaxed across the eurozone, activity in the region expanded in July at the fastest pace since mid-2018. Infection rates have risen again in parts of the eurozone and some restrictions are being reintroduced by governments. On the back of this, the IHS Markit’s flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index sank to 51.6 from July’s final reading of 54.9, which is likely to concern policymakers and diminish hopes for a V-shaped recover.

Stocks climbed in Hong Kong, Japan and China, however, following on the tech-lead Nasdaq 100 setting a new record high. The offshore yuan rose to its strongest level against the dollar in 7 months, as China’s economy and market rebound from the pandemic is proving one of the world’s fastest. Elsewhere, oil remained steady, on track for a third weekly gain. Gold has changed very little, remaining below $2,000 an ounce.

In the US, applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased on Thursday, with initial jobless claims climbing to more than 1.1 million. These figures reinforce forecasts that improvement in the labour market will occur in fits and starts, with the latest uptick potentially representing a pause in recovery rather than a substantial change in direction.

Best & Worst Performers of Large Cap US Stocks on Thursday
Click the image to enlarge

Global Market Update
(as at close of markets 20/08/2020)