Stocks hover around record highs as traders wait for data

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Stocks and central banks

Stocks globally reached their records on Tuesday. At the same time, the dollar almost reached its recent lows as markets awaited jobs data in the US. Besides, central bank meetings in the US and the EU should guide the interest rates outlook.

Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan touched a three-month high. However, the profits were pulled 0.4% lower by strong Chinese markets. Australian stocks also reached a record high. Meanwhile, Nikkei in Japan increased by 0.5%.

Even though global stocks decreased from yesterday’s rally, investors started worrying about a stronger than expected rebound. It would result in a sooner than expected tightening of the monetary policy. 

 

Uncertainty around non-farm payrolls will influence the market

According to Ray Attrill, National Australia Bank’s head of currency strategy, non-farm payrolls could stimulate markets. In April, monthly hiring totaled 266,000 compared to expectations for 1 million. Now, May estimates vary between 400,000 and 1 million. Attrill believes that the uncertainty around payrolls will influence the market sentiment in any case.

MUFG analysts noted that major economies continue to reopen from lockdowns. So, all the attention will be focusing on central bank meetings. The analysts believe ECB will avoid signaling a slowdown in bond purchases. However, the Federal Reserve might affirm that very initial discussions on decreasing its bond-buying have begun. 

Australia returns to pre-pandemic economic levels

On Wednesday, Australia provided better than expected economic results. Its growth beat market expectations, and national output has outstripped pre-pandemic levels. It’s something only six countries achieved worldwide. The country’s GDP grew by 1.1 percent from January to March and held three-quarters of progress. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the level of economic activity is now 0.8% higher than the levels of the quarter to December 2019 before the pandemic.

 

Deloitte, s consulting firm said in a statement that, on average, the OECD economies are 2.7% smaller than they were before the pandemic. The United Kingdom has contracted by 9%, the European Union shrunk by 5%, and the United States suffered 1%.

Kristian Kolding, a partner at Deloitte Access Economics, said that Australia is a rare case. Only five other countries can boast that they now have a larger economy than before the pandemic. 

The other countries to achieve recovery from pre-pandemic levels have been China, Chile, Russia, Lithuania, and South Korea.

Australia has kept its borders closed since last year and has the pandemic almost under control. However, it periodically has to face outbreaks such as the recent one in the city of Melbourne.

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