Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer




The major US equity indices ended the week higher, with the S&P 500 Index reaching its highest level since February 10 on Friday. Tech stocks outperformed, helped by Apple. A continued rise in many commodity prices boosted the energy and materials sectors. Developments in Russia's war against Ukraine remained on investors' radar. Western countries agreed at several summits to provide more military support for Ukraine, reinforce troops on European borders, and extend sanctions on Russian institutions, companies, and individuals. On the US macro front, some data seems to have improved since the Russian invasion. IHS Markit’s gauge of manufacturing activity rose much more than expected in March and hit its highest level since September 2020, while its services gauge indicated the most activity since July 2021. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims fell much more than expected and hit levels last seen in 1969. The US 10-year yield  jumped by roughly 35 basis points over the week while the 2s10s yield curve inverted. Shares in Europe weakened amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the prospect of tighter monetary policy. Core eurozone bond yields rose, following U.S. Treasuries higher after hawkish comments from Powell raised expectations for more aggressive rate hikes. Stronger-than-expected eurozone purchasing managers’ surveys also pressured yields higher. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index gained 4.9% as the yen weakened. Gold and cryptos soared.



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