St. James's Place News
US jobs data buoys global markets
Global equity markets enjoyed a powerful rally last week as investors cast aside concerns about the eurozone and focused instead on better-than-expected US jobs data. Faced with ever-increasing signs of a slowing global economy, last week's official non-farm payrolls report was regarded as a key test of policymakers' messages that the world's largest economy could be gathering momentum in the face of weakness elsewhere.
The August numbers showed that an extra 114,000 jobs were added. However, the greatest surprise to analysts was the overall drop in the percentage of people unemployed, from 8.1% to 7.8% – close to a four-year low and, crucially for President Obama with the US elections only weeks away, just below the rate when he came to office.
Also in this week's bulletin...
- Notwithstanding the better employment numbers, worries over future global growth have weighed heavily on investors, which is unsurprising given the steady flow of worse-than-expected news from the world's other engines of growth: Europe and China.
- US manufacturers bucked the global trend last month, managing to expand even as their rivals in Asia and Europe suffered; after three consecutive months of contraction, the growth in manufacturing lifted the economy as orders and employment picked up.
- Stock market volatility of recent years has been the subject of much debate as investors weigh up the prospects of owning equities but there remain some persuasive arguments for revisiting what has become, over the last decade or so, an unloved asset class.
View this week's Market Bulletin (PDF), which contains thoughts and opinions of St. James’s Place and our range of investment managers on the key issues affecting investors.
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