To help investors keep up with the markets, we present our ETF Scorecard. The Scorecard takes a step back and looks at how various asset classes across the globe are performing. The weekly performance is from last Friday’s open to this week’s Thursday close.
- European Union agreed to extend the Brexit date until October 31, although Prime Minister Theresa May asked for an extension until June 30. The EU included a clause under which Britain will be able to exit earlier if an agreement is reached. May still hopes to reach a deal in May and is negotiating with the Labour party to pass an agreement through Parliament. Brexit’s shape will be a customs union.
- The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at record lows, agreeing that the risks to the Eurozone recovery are tilted to the downside. The International Monetary Fund downgraded economic forecasts for the euro area a day earlier. Interest rates on ECB’s marginal lending facility and deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0% and negative 0.40%, respectively.
- The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates again before the end of the year, if economic conditions improve, the central bank’s minutes showed. The Federal Open Market Committee unanimously agreed to keep interest rates unchanged at the last meeting and did not see the possibility of another hike this year. However, the minutes have shown that the decision was made after a heated debate.
- The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, beating analyst estimates of 172,000. The figure for February was revised up from 20,000 to 33,000. The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.8%.
- Average hourly earnings disappointed in March, rising only 0.1%, below expectations of 0.3% growth. In the prior month, hourly earnings rose 0.4%.
- U.S. inflation rose to 1.9% year-over-year in March from 1.5% in February, although that is still below the Federal Reserve’s target. Energy and food were the main categories responsible for the advance. Indeed, core inflation was up only 0.1% versus 0.2% expected by analysts.
- U.S. producers’ price index (PPI) surged 0.6% in March versus an expected 0.3%. Core PPI, meanwhile, came in at 0.3%.
- Unemployment claims have fallen below the 200,000 level for the first time since January in the week ended April 6 and reached a multi-year low of 196,000.
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Risk Appetite Review
- Markets were slightly up this week.
- Risk assets (SPHB ) were the best performers over the five trading days through Thursday, rising 0.79%.
- The broad market (SPY ) was the worst performer with a fall of 0.36%.
Major Index Review
- Major indexes were mixed this week.
- Dow Jones (DIA ) saw the worst declines this week, down 0.31%, as investors withdrew funds form safe havens.
- All sectors were up with the exception of health care and industrials.
- The energy sector (XLE ) jumped 2.2%, helped by an incessant rise in oil prices.
- Meanwhile, healthcare (XLV ) lost 1.09% for the week, after U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a plan that would provide Medicare coverage to all U.S. citizens.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign equities were all up.
- Russian equities (RSX ) edged up more than 2% this week, largely on the back of rising oil prices.
- Chinese shares (FXI ) shed 0.82% for the week, although the country’s equities have been performing very well of late.
To find out more about ETFs exposed to particular countries, check our ETF Country Exposure Tool. Select a particular country from a world map and get a list of all ETFs tracking your pick.
- Crude oil (USO ) gained 2.23% for the week, extending monthly gains to as much as 11%.
- Meanwhile, the agricultural fund (DBA ) is the only ETF that posted a loss this week, down 0.24%.
- The Australian dollar (FXA ) is the best performer from the pack, with a tepid advance of 0.41%.
- Euro (FXE ) is at the other end of the spectrum with a loss of 3.11%, as the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged and signaled risks are tilted to the downside.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.