The acceleration of regulatory approval for coronavirus treatments boosted sentiment heading into this week. Most major indices traded between 1-2% higher, with emerging markets trading near their 7-month high. The continued weakening of the U.S. dollar (USD) has proved to be a catalyst for returns internationally, with the USD/EURO currency pair hovering around $1.18 after trading as low as $1.06 during the height of the selloff in March. This week saw a mixed bag on the data front, with consumer confidence posting a surprise drop in August. Separately, new home sales increased by 13.9% in July, the highest sales rate since 2007. Durable goods orders (such as cars and appliances) came in better than expected on Wednesday, showing a month-over-month increase of 11.2%. On Thursday, all eyes will be on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech “Monetary Policy Framework Review.” This marks the first time in history that the Fed’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium will be livestreamed to the public. Interest rates drifted higher ahead of Powell’s speech, with yields on the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes trading around 0.16% and 0.71% respectively mid-week.
Source: Morningstar, CNBC, Bloomberg, GSAM