U.S. indices continued to rally this week as markets maintained their strong start to the month of March.
Thursday’s move was assisted by data showing that Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell to their lowest levels in 4-months.
This comes on the heels of a better-than-expected Non-Farm Payrolls number last week, where 379k jobs were added, versus 182k expected.
Whilst expected to come in at 725,000, claims for the week which ended March 6th came in at 712,000, falling by 42,000 from the previous figures.
The Dow Jones recorded a new high, with the S&P 500 also re-approaching its own ATH.
IMF warns against rate hikes
As the $1.9 trillion U.S. Stimulus package is set to be approved, the International Monetary Fund warned markets to remain cautious on the potential of rate hikes.
The IMF projects that the United States could see its economy grow by 5% to 6% over three years because of the rescue package. However, warned against the increasing of rates, which could negatively impact emerging markets.
IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice stated that the prospect of rate hikes “should be carefully managed”.
He went on to add that, “For the Federal Reserve and other central banks in advanced economies, this means continuing to communicate clearly, as they have been doing about their assessment of the economy, and their evolving views on asset purchases and interest rate policy to avoid any unwarranted tightening of financial market conditions”.
DAX 30 records new high
Europe’s largest index the DAX 30 rallied to a new high on Thursday as it was announced that J&J’s one-shot vaccine was approved in the EU.
Related: J&J vaccine approved in U.S
The European Union confirmed the approval of the jab, which is said to have an efficacy rate of over 72%.
This now means there are over 4 vaccines in circulation, with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna vaccines also on the table.
It was also confirmed that the EU has ordered 200 million doses, with the option for 200 million more.
The DAX closed 0.20% higher on the news.
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Senior Market Analyst