Equities were mixed last week, as investors grappled with a confluence of events. Markets started the week in a positive fashion as Moderna reported a 94.5% effective rate for their Covid-19 vaccine. This was followed on Wednesday with further news from Pfizer and BioNtech, who confirmed a revised figure of 95% for their own vaccine. Pfizer has also applied for emergency approval from the FDA.
Economic news from the U.S. was mixed. On the positive side, soaring confidence from homebuilders was coupled with existing homes selling at the fastest rate in 14 years. However, weekly jobless claims rose for the first time in over a month and retail sales for October missed expectations and grew at the slowest pace since April. ‘Holiday Season’ spending in U.S.and Europe will now be key for Q4 growth figures as lockdowns persist.
Chinese data was positive for the week, as industrial output in October rose 6.9% from a year earlier. Retail sales and services PMIs are also starting to catch up with Chinese growth in general supporting the Asian region. Japanese economic growth for Q3 came in well ahead of expectations and grew at the fastest rate since 1968, as always this should be view within the context of the contraction from earlier in the year.
Some stock rotation continued last week, as energy outperformed on the back of a potential delay in an OPEC production increases and optimism surrounding the potential end of lockdowns in early 2021. Shares in Europe also outperformed based on the rotation narrative. However, the U.S. announced that it has passed the 250,000 death mark for the pandemic, which serves as a stark reminder to challenges still being faced globally. CLICK HERE