Global equities were relatively flat as investors sorted through a flurry of political headlines, economic data and corporate earnings reports. Markets faced no shortage of political news — including an executive order on immigration, a Supreme Court justice nomination, cabinet confirmation hearings, sanctions against Iran and additional executive action impacting the financial industry. Political ideologies aside, equity markets are trending higher.
US economic data were positive as the January employment report showed an increase of 227,000 in payrolls—greatly exceeding expectations for 175,000.
The first estimate of eurozone Q4 2016 GDP was reported at 1.8% y/y— beating analyst projections. The Bank of England— encouraged by better-than-expected economic conditions since the Brexit referendum—left interest rates unchanged and upgraded its GDP forecast.
In Asia, Chinese January services and manufacturing PMIs beat expectations. The Bank of Japan left interest rates unchanged and modestly upgraded its economic projections. Many developed countries release trade data next week.