Walker Crips' Market Commentary
Bank of England Governor warns interest rates may still have to increase further
In the US, the S&P 500 closed 1.9% higher for the week, regaining some of ground lost through February where it declined by 2.6%. There were a number of important economic reports in the week, however their mixed nature meant there was a lack of noteworthy catalysts for performance. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in higher in February at 47.7 (previously 47.4) and was slightly ahead of median forecasts of 47.6. It does, however, remain in contraction territory, as levels below 50 indicate slowing activity. The ISM's services PMI fell slightly to 55.1 (previously 55.2), but came in above median forecasts of 54.3 and remains in modest expansion. The most surprising data point of the week was the 8.1% jump in pending home sales in January (previous month 1.1%), far ahead of median forecasts of 0.9%. Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors' attributed the jump to the dip in mortgage rates over the new year and indicated that "home sales activity looks to be bottoming out in the first quarter."
Aston Martin Lagonda, Persimmon and Rightmove
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