- Global equity markets rose broadly this week. US markets were led by the tech-heavy NASDAQ on the tailwinds of positive earnings from a number of FAANG companies. International stocks were largely higher; however, they trailed emerging markets, which posted strong returns for the week, with Brazil contributing significantly, while Greece and India detracted marginally.
- Treasury yields fell this week, primarily due to the Fed’s vowing “patience” in monetary policy. However, yields rose marginally on Friday morning, trimming the decline, after the December employment report showed stronger-than-expected US job gains and the yield on the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond rising back above 3%.
- Commodities rose, with the Bloomberg Commodity Index finishing slightly higher after an overall positive week. Within the index, oil prices jumped along with the stock market on Friday, after the US monthly job report showed a surge in employment. Oil futures also headed higher, as US sanctions on Venezuela’s stateowned oil firm, PDVSA, raised the risk of tighter crude supplies.
- The US dollar ended the week lower against a basket of major trade partners’ currencies. The Deutsche Bank Long US dollar index fell .73%, likely pressured by the Fed’s cautious US economic outlook, suggesting the central bank may be near the end of its tightening cycle.
- In other economic news, the US gained 304,000 new jobs in January, the biggest increase in almost a year and marking 100 consecutive months of employment gains. The unemployment rate, while still historically low, drifted marginally higher to 4.00%, likely a byproduct of the combination of a higher labor force participation rate and the government shutdown.
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