Market Monitor – 8 March 2024
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Market Monitor – 8 March 2024

Global stock markets largely made steady gains this week as central banks remain on course to start relaxing monetary policy in the next few months.

According to the latest economic indicators there seems to be little reason for policymakers to keep interest rates at their current elevated level: inflation expectations continue to decline, and even the US jobs market – which has been surprisingly resilient in recent months – is starting to show some signs of weakness. An extension of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) production cuts threatened to drive fresh increases in prices at the start of the week – a development that could lead to a rise in inflationary pressures. However, concerns about slowing global growth this year helped keep crude values in check.

United States

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 had gained 0.4% by Thursday’s close to reach another all-time high, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended trading 0.8% lower. Technology sector exuberance was relatively unharmed by news at the start of the week that regulators in the European Union had fined a major American electronics company almost US$2 billion (£1.56 billion) for anti-competitive practices in the music-streaming market. Comments to lawmakers from Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, helped reassure investors that interest rate cuts were imminent, and markets currently expect the Fed to make its first downward move in June.

UK

In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed on Thursday 0.1% up for the week so far after latest data showed continued strength in Britain’s services sector. This suggested that the recession of the final six months of 2023 could be relatively short lived. In contrast, figures from the retail sector indicated further weakness in consumer spending in February, while corporate earnings statements from the construction industry highlighted the ongoing impact of higher borrowing costs. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget statement on Wednesday did little to meaningfully change market sentiment, although the government is planning to introduce a British ISA (individual savings account), which will offer additional tax relief on investments in securities issued by UK-based entities.

Europe

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended Thursday’s session up 0.6% for the week, while France’s CAC 40 gained 1%. European stocks reached new highs after the European Central Bank gave its strongest indication yet that interest rate cuts were around the corner. Policymakers again left rates on hold at Thursday’s meeting, but the ECB cut its inflation and growth forecasts for the eurozone in 2024. All eyes are now on the organisation’s next meeting in April.

Asia

In Asia, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 2.2% on concerns about growing geopolitical tension. In a key annual speech, government officials announced an increase in defence sector spending and appeared to remove a commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question. However, there was some positive news in the shape of an unexpectedly strong increase in exports in February. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index of leading shares, meanwhile, declined 0.8% after breaching the 40,000-point barrier for the first time on Monday. Growing expectations of a Bank of Japan interest rate hike caused stocks in Tokyo to fall back towards the end of the week.

March 1
March 7
Change (%)
FTSE 100
7682.5
7692.5
0.1
FTSE 250
19354.4
19584.0
1.2
S&P 500
5137.1
5157.4
0.4
Dow Jones
39087.4
38791.4
-0.8
DAX
17735.1
17842.9
0.6
CAC 40
7934.2
8016.2
1.0
ACWI
767.1
773.1
0.8
Hong Kong Hang Seng
16589.4
16229.8
-2.2
Nikkei 225
39910.8
39598.7
-0.8

Note: all market data contained within the article is sourced from Bloomberg unless stated otherwise, data as at 7 March 2024.

8 March 2024
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Market Monitor – 8 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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