Poor economic data and disappointing earnings weighed heavily on U.S. markets early in the week. While the election of Syriza in Greece added to volatility to markets in Europe shares across the Atlantic outperformed the U.S. during the week and have done well so far this year.
Q4 GDP growth was reported to be 2.6% in the U.S. but the market was expecting at least 3%. Along with poor durable goods orders and manufacturing reports the data sent U.S. stocks spiraling. Consumer data continues to come in positive however.
With global economic turbulence and worries bond yields continue to fall steadily both in Europe and the U.S.
Currency volatility continued to manifest itself this week. Singapore eased its currency regime while Denmark set interest rates further into negative territory in an attempt to keep pace with the Euro’s fall.
China announced that it lowered its target for GDP growth from 7.5% to 7% for 2015. China missed its target in 2014 and many private sector estimations have growth closer to 5% rather than the state reported 7.4%.
The new government in Greece wasted no time in displaying animosity towards the EU and troika system in general. New Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis held contentious meetings with a delegation of EU finance ministers last week. Conflicting reports are emanating from Europe. Some state optimism that a constructive agreement can be reached while others, notably Mr. Schauble of Germany, taking a hard line stance.
Oil prices have started to pick up over the last few trading sessions. Several firms have announced cuts in investment and capital expenditures that could slow supply growth in the future.