Europe sees economic boost as coronavirus fears subdue

August 16, 2021

In our weekly Market Monday insights, Prosperity Investment Management examines the latest developments across the globe's biggest financial markets - providing you with all the latest information you need to know.

The major European markets all registered advances last week as coronavirus cases begin to stabilise, and even decrease, in areas across the continent. 

Aided by a strengthened vaccination programme, which has overtaken the US in terms of first and second doses administered, the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index ended the week 1.25% higher whilst France’s CAC 40 Index gained 1.16%, Germany’s Xetra DAX Index ended 1.37% higher and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 2.51%.

In the UK, the economy expanded by 4.8% in the second quarter, driven by a rise in household consumption as lockdown rules were lifted. The quarterly rate was below the Bank of England’s forecast for 5%. The level of gross domestic product is 4.4% below where it stood at the end of 2019, lagging other advanced economies. However, UK exports to the EU strengthened in June - rising 1.2% and exceeding the pre-Brexit level of December 2020 for a second month.

Over in the United States, the Senate passed a roughly USD $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, including about $550 billion in new spending that aims to rebuild traditional transportation infrastructure, improve access to broadband connectivity in rural areas and upgrade the electric grid and water systems.

In Asia, China has released a five-year blueprint calling for increased regulation affecting key parts of the economy. The document signalled Beijing’s intention to draft new laws covering national security, technology, monopolies, and education. In the technology sector, new legislation will cover areas such as online finance, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing.

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