Thursday, 1 April 2021

Markets mixed, higher interest rates a threat to stocks

Markets were mixed on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent but the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.9 percent.

Economic data released on Wednesday were largely positive.

In the US, private payrolls expanded by 517,000 in March, the fastest pace since September 2020.

In China, the official manufacturing PMI came in at 51.9 in March, up from February’s reading of 50.6.

In Germany, the total number of jobless people declined by 8,000 to 2.745 million in seasonally-adjusted terms.

However, positive economic data raise the probability of higher interest rates, which investors see as the biggest threat to stocks.

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