A FURTHER EASING IN ENGLISH RESTRICTIONS Recent market volatility suggests uncertainty about the direction of the next major move. The possibility of a strong economic rebound continues to be weighed against concerns of a new Covid-19 wave that could lead to a restrictions remaining in place for longer than is currently anticipated. For the coming week, the economic calendar is light in the run-up to Easter. That means markets may again focus on Covid-19 news. A further modes
UK CONSUMER CONFIDENCE The GfK measure of UK consumer confidence for March released earlier this morning increased to -16 from -23, its highest level since last March. That reflected more positive sentiment about both consumers’ ow n finances and the general economic situation prompted by the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. The latter component is still w ell below its pre-pandemic level but can be expected to continue to move up as lockdown restrictions are eased further.
BOND YIELD MOVES CONTINUE TO COMMAND ATTENTION What happens next to bond yields remains the key near-term focus in markets. Equites rose strongly for much of this w eek as bond yields fell back. The decline in US Treasury yields was given further impetus by a weaker-than-expected US inflation report. The successful passage of the Biden administration’s fiscal stimulus package, which the OECD said could raise US GDP growth by more than 3% this year, initially seemed to provide