Market Monitor – 22 March 2024
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Market Monitor – 22 March 2024

Global stock markets enjoyed another stellar week as central banks remain on track to start cutting interest rates in the coming months.

Both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England (BoE) kept rates on hold at their March meetings, as widely predicted, but encouraging comments from policymakers mean markets now expect three reductions apiece from the institutions in 2024.

Once again, rises in oil prices threatened to spoil the party, with a spike in crude futures at the start of the week resulting from solid Chinese economic data, as well as further signs of tension in the Middle East. However, investors remained firmly focused on the imminent easing of monetary policy as well as further positive developments in artificial intelligence (AI).

United States

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended trading on Thursday 2.8% up for the week so far, with the S&P 500 gaining 2.4%. These advances took both indices to all-time highs. Monday saw solid gains among technology stocks following news of a groundbreaking AI deal between two major software companies, while upbeat comments on Wednesday from Fed chair, Jerome Powell, reinforced hopes of a soft landing for the US economy following recent macroeconomic turbulence. Thursday’s fall in unemployment claims and signs of strong growth in residential property sales added to the general sense of optimism.

UK

In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed on Thursday 2% up for the week so far. This came after a larger-than-expected decline in inflation increased the likelihood that interest rates would be cut before the summer. The UK consumer prices index declined to 3.4% in February, its lowest level since 2021. Data published during the week showed that rises in the price of factory raw materials were also slowing, while output in the manufacturing sector appears to be turning a corner after months of sluggish performance.

Europe

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended Thursday’s session up 1.3% for the week, while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.2%. Confidence among German businesses has risen despite the country’s economic challenges, while February’s inflation figure for the eurozone was confirmed to have fallen to 2.6%. Hopes that the bloc could avoid a recession in 2024 drove gains among consumer stocks such as carmakers and travel companies.

 

Asia

In Asia, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.9% after latest data showed signs of a tentative recovery in the Chinese economy, with a rise in factory output and investment in February. The country’s property sector remains under pressure, however, with spending on construction projects declining by 9% in the first two months of the year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index of leading shares, meanwhile, surged 5.4% to another record high despite the Bank of Japan ending its longstanding negative interest rate policy on Tuesday. Although deposit rates were raised to 0%, the fact the policy had been widely flagged in advance meant investors took the news in their stride, and there was no significant further strengthening in the yen.

March 15
March 21
Change (%)
FTSE 100
7727.4
7882.6
2.0
FTSE 250
19512.9
19741.3
1.2
S&P 500
5117.1
5241.5
2.4
Dow Jones
38714.8
39781.4
2.8
DAX
17936.7
18173.8
1.3
CAC 40
8164.4
8179.7
0.2
ACWI
767.6
783.3
2.0
Hong Kong Hang Seng
16720.9
16863.1
0.9
Nikkei 225
38707.6
40815.7
5.4

Note: all market data contained within the article is sourced from Bloomberg unless stated otherwise, data as at 21 March 2024.

22 March 2024
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Market Monitor – 22 March 2024

Important information

For marketing purposes.

This document is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered representative of any particular investment. This should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments, or to provide investment advice or services. Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal. Your capital is at risk. Market risk may affect a single issuer, sector of the economy, industry or the market as a whole. The value of investments is not guaranteed, and therefore an investor may not get back the amount invested. International investing involves certain risks and volatility due to potential political, economic or currency fluctuations and different financial and accounting standards. The securities included herein are for illustrative purposes only, subject to change and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell. Securities discussed may or may not prove profitable. The views expressed are as of the date given, may change as market or other conditions change and may differ from views expressed by other Columbia Threadneedle Investments (Columbia Threadneedle) associates or affiliates. Actual investments or investment decisions made by Columbia Threadneedle and its affiliates, whether for its own account or on behalf of clients, may not necessarily reflect the views expressed. This information is not intended to provide investment advice and does not take into consideration individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Asset classes described may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance does not guarantee future results, and no forecast should be considered a guarantee either. Information and opinions provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This document and its contents have not been reviewed by any regulatory authority.

 

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In Australia: Issued by Threadneedle Investments Singapore (Pte.) Limited [“TIS”], ARBN 600 027 414.  TIS is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and relies on Class Order 03/1102 in respect of the financial services it provides to wholesale clients in Australia. This document should only be distributed in Australia to “wholesale clients” as defined in Section 761G of the Corporations Act. TIS is regulated in Singapore (Registration number: 201101559W) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289), which differ from Australian laws.

 

In Singapore: Issued by Threadneedle Investments Singapore (Pte.) Limited, 3 Killiney Road, #07-07, Winsland House 1, Singapore 239519, which is regulated in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289). Registration number: 201101559W. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

 

In Hong Kong: Issued by Threadneedle Portfolio Services Hong Kong Limited 天利投資管理香港有限公司. Unit 3004, Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Hong Kong, which is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) to conduct Type 1 regulated activities (CE:AQA779). Registered in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622), No. 1173058.

 

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.

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Important information

For marketing purposes.

This document is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered representative of any particular investment. This should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments, or to provide investment advice or services. Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal. Your capital is at risk. Market risk may affect a single issuer, sector of the economy, industry or the market as a whole. The value of investments is not guaranteed, and therefore an investor may not get back the amount invested. International investing involves certain risks and volatility due to potential political, economic or currency fluctuations and different financial and accounting standards. The securities included herein are for illustrative purposes only, subject to change and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell. Securities discussed may or may not prove profitable. The views expressed are as of the date given, may change as market or other conditions change and may differ from views expressed by other Columbia Threadneedle Investments (Columbia Threadneedle) associates or affiliates. Actual investments or investment decisions made by Columbia Threadneedle and its affiliates, whether for its own account or on behalf of clients, may not necessarily reflect the views expressed. This information is not intended to provide investment advice and does not take into consideration individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Asset classes described may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance does not guarantee future results, and no forecast should be considered a guarantee either. Information and opinions provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This document and its contents have not been reviewed by any regulatory authority.

 

In the UK: Issued by Threadneedle Asset Management Limited, registered in England and Wales, No. 573204. Registered Office: Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6AG. Authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

In Australia: Issued by Threadneedle Investments Singapore (Pte.) Limited [“TIS”], ARBN 600 027 414.  TIS is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and relies on Class Order 03/1102 in respect of the financial services it provides to wholesale clients in Australia. This document should only be distributed in Australia to “wholesale clients” as defined in Section 761G of the Corporations Act. TIS is regulated in Singapore (Registration number: 201101559W) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289), which differ from Australian laws.

 

In Singapore: Issued by Threadneedle Investments Singapore (Pte.) Limited, 3 Killiney Road, #07-07, Winsland House 1, Singapore 239519, which is regulated in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289). Registration number: 201101559W. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

 

In Hong Kong: Issued by Threadneedle Portfolio Services Hong Kong Limited 天利投資管理香港有限公司. Unit 3004, Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Hong Kong, which is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) to conduct Type 1 regulated activities (CE:AQA779). Registered in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622), No. 1173058.

 

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.

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