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Timothy Fox - Head of Research & Chief Economist
Mohammed Al Tajir - Manager, FX Analytics and Product Development
Published Date: 24 February 2019
In a week that was shortened by the Presidents’ Day holiday in the United States, markets traded optimistically and risk appetite was the dominant theme. Equity markets performed well across the board. The S&P500 rose 1.71%, the Nasdaq gained 1.35%, the Nikkei posted a 2.51% gain and the DAX climbed 1.40%. A similarly positive performance was seen in commodity markets, with the Bloomberg Commodity Index rising 2.71% during the same period. These solid performances can, in a large part, be attributed to the tone of the FOMC minutes from January’s meeting. The minutes revealed that policy makers remained optimistic in their outlook of the U.S. economy and would remain patient with the pace at which they raise interest rates.
This solid performance in capital markets was also accompanied by more promising geopolitical developments. This was related to optimism over a U.S.-China trade deal, and hopes that the risk of a no-deal Brexit was decreasing. Over the last week, there has been increased speculation that Parliament will take control of the Brexit process, forcing the UK government to request an extension to negotiations and thus reducing the risks of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal.
At a glance:
Source: Emirates NBD Research, Bloomberg
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