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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 25th June 2021
25 Jun 2021
Bank of England holds monetary policy steady. At its policy meeting on Thursday, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep its benchmark interest rate at a historic low of 0.1 percent and left the size of its bond-buying programme unchanged. The Bank noted that “developments in global GDP growth have been somewhat stronger than anticipated” since its last report in May. It added that global price pressures have picked up further. Looking ahead, it stated that the committee expects the economy to experience a temporary period of strong GDP growth and above-target inflation, “after which growth and inflation will fall back.” However, it added: “There are two-sided risks around this central path, and it is possible that near-term upward pressure on prices could prove somewhat larger than expected.

German business confidence improves more than expected. German business confidence hit its highest level since the end of 2018 in June as the gradual relaxation of pandemic restrictions supported economic activity. Ifo, the Munich-based think-tank, said that its business climate index rose to 101.8 in June from 99.2 in the previous month. Economists had predicted the score would rise moderately to 100.6. Both the current assessment as well as expectations improved in June. Germany's economy is typically the engine of growth for the broader Eurozone economy, which is showing signs of an increasingly broad and robust recovery as vaccination rates improve. The IHS Markit composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, for the Eurozone, a real-time proxy for economic growth, hit a record high in June, according to preliminary estimates released on Wednesday.

US existing home sales fell again as prices continue to soar. Sales of previously-owned homes fell for the fourth consecutive month in May, as higher prices and a limited number of available properties discouraged many potential buyers. After reporting sharp decreases in existing home sales over the three previous months, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Tuesday that existing home sales saw further downside in the month of May. Existing home sales dropped by 0.9 percent last month from April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.8 million units. The series of sales declines comes after sharp gains last autumn and winter, as many Americans sought larger homes during the pandemic. Sales are up nearly 45 percent since May of last year, when purchases fell to their lowest point of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Australia manufacturing sector growths slows in June. Australia’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in June, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey compiled by Markit Economics revealed on Wednesday, with a manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, score of 58.4. Sudden lockdowns in Victoria because of Covid-19 and softening optimism among businesses have slowed down the expansion of private sector activity in Australia for the second straight month. Financial information provider IHS Markit said that while output slowed, it still remains at a strong level. 

Bank of Japan policymakers optimistic for quicker recovery in April. Bank of Japan board members voiced hope in April that the massive stimulus deployed globally will quicken Japan's economic recovery, with domestic consumption potentially providing a tailwind as accumulated savings are spent. The upbeat assessment reinforces market expectations that the central bank in the world's third-biggest economy will keep monetary settings unchanged for the time being, in the hope that its ultra-loose monetary policy and pandemic-relief programmes will sustain a moderate recovery.
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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).