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GMT Afternoon Market Update: US Stocks Began Positive in Q2, European Stocks in Good Momentum.

London, Friday, 1 April 2022

US Markets Summary

Wall Street began the second quarter on a positive note, with all major US indices up around 0.5 percent as investors anticipated tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve while keeping an eye on developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The widely watched employment data from the Labour Department revealed that US firms employed fewer employees than predicted in March, with the unemployment rate falling to a new two-year low of 3.6 percent and salaries resuming their upward trend.

Data indicating a tighter labour market coincided with skyrocketing inflation, which is already at 40-year highs, allowing the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates by a whopping 50 basis points in May.

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all had their worst quarter since March 2020, with the Dow and S&P 500 plunging 4.6 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, and the Nasdaq falling more than 9 percent.

European Markets Summary

On Friday, the first trading session of April, European stocks held above the flatline after finishing the first quarter of 2022 more than 6% lower, with support coming from the banking sector on rising ECB rate hike bets, while oil and gas companies fell 0.5 percent.

Inflation in the eurozone hit a new high in March, boosted by rising oil and gas costs and sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, bolstering the case for the ECB to stop its eight-year negative interest rate policy sooner.

In addition, Spain's manufacturing PMI in March fell short of market forecasts, while final PMI values in the Eurozone and Germany were lower than early projections.

The DAX rose 0.5 percent in Germany, while the Stoxx 600 rose 0.6 percent across Europe.

(Written and edited by: The Decision Maker)


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