• Worldwide coronavirus cases surpass 159.593 million with over 3.317 million official deaths
• Non-Farm Payroll missed its mark by some margin Friday after jobs in the workforce diminished in April. Payrolls were expected to rise by 990,000 people but instead the number was reported as only 266,000 indicating tough economic times. This could give the Federal Reserve further confirmation to continue with an accommodative stance. The problem being recent fiscal stimulus could be acting as a deterrent for people to seek work or could it actually be a sign of a slower than anticipated labour market. We won’t really know until a trend develops, figures for May should reflect this.
• Australia’s expected unemployment rate is predicted to fall to 4.8% by the end of this year and 4.4% at the end of 2022, with a rate hike unlikely to be until 2024 at the earliest.
• US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said interest rates may need to be raised to keep the economy from overheating based on the massive investments President Biden is proposing to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
• Oil prices rise after a big drop in Oil crude inventories after a cyber attack (ransomware) on a US fuel pipeline forced the shutdown of the network.
• China hasn’t met its US product purchasing targets of late but the US don’t seem to be worried, US trade representatives are due to meet with Chinese officials soon to review the Trump led agreement.
• DOW and S&P Indices closed the week at record levels, DOW 34777, S&P 4,232
Major Announcements last week:
- Reserve Bank of Australia leave their cash rate on hold at 0.10%
- Canadian Unemployment rose to 8.1% from 7.5% much higher than the 7.8% predicted
- US Unemployment Rate released at 6.1% up from 6.0% – higher than the 5.8% expected
- NZ 2 year Inflation forecast has been increased to 2.05% from 1.89%