The world’s most famous index – the Dow Jones Industrial Average, shed 666 points (-2.5%) on Friday night in a session marred by fears of a bond market meltdown. Stronger job numbers and wage growth lit the match, largely reversing recent market moves. The US dollar strengthened, shares and commodities tumbled and US ten year bond yields hit a four year high.
European investors suffered as well in the cross asset class sell-off. The Euro and British pound weakened. The German DAX mirrored moves tin the US S&P 500 and both major indices shed 4% or thereabouts over the week. A similar performance this week would put both globally important markets close to the technical definition of a market correction.
The ructions in equities occurred despite generally upbeat company earnings reports in the USA and Japan. While consumer groups like Estee Lauder beat forecasts, weaker reports from oil giants Exxon and Chevron added to the gloom on Friday night.
The Australian reporting season gets underway this week. Important results include CBA, NAB, Macquarie Group, Rio Tinto, Mirvac and Tabcorp. The mid-session release today of China Caixin PMIs could be influential, and Australian investors will look to tomorrow’s retail sales data for a guide to the status of the previously missing-in-action consumer.