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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 20th November 2020
20 Nov 2020
US industrial production rebounds sharply in October. A report released by the Federal Reserve (Fed) on Thursday showed a significant rebound in US industrial production during October. The Fed said industrial production - a measure of output at factories, mines and utilities - jumped by 1.1 percent in October after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in September. However, output remains 5.6 percent below where it was in February, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Fed said. Economists said they expect to see production continue to make up lost ground in the coming months since demand for goods has held up better than demand for services. But the alarming rise in new coronavirus cases around the country could slow that expansion.

US jobless claims unexpectedly rebound from eight month low.
The number of workers filing for unemployment benefits in the US picked up last week and was slightly higher than expecting. Jobless claims totalled 742,000 for the week, the Labour Department reported on Thursday. The rebound came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 707,000 from the 709,000 originally reported for the previous week. In the previous week, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 282,000 in the week ended March 14th."The risk may be for a further rise in claims as coronavirus cases surge and some states impose restrictions on activity," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead US Economist at Oxford Economics.

UK inflation at three-month high in October.
UK inflation rose by more than expected to a three-month high in October, underpinned by rising prices of clothing and second-hand cars, according to official figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday. The consumer price index, or CPI, increased by 0.7 percent in October compared to 0.5 percent a month earlier as clothing prices increased, returning to a more normal seasonal pattern after the Covid-19 disruptions this year. Economists had forecast an inflation rate of 0.6 percent for October. After deep discounting during the first lockdown, as the rapid spread of Covid-19 forced consumers to shun retail outlets, the ONS said that prices rose in October at a similar rate to last year, despite increasing pressure after the second wave of the pandemic forced local lockdowns.

Australia jobless rate rises to seven percent in October.
The unemployment rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted seven percent in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That was below expectations for 7.2 percent and was up from 6.9 percent in September. The Australian economy added 178,800 jobs last month for a total of 12,773,900, blowing past expectations for a loss of 30,000 jobs after shedding 29,500 jobs in the previous month. Over the year to October, employment fell by one percent or 132,300 people. The participation rate jumped to 65.8 percent, beating forecasts for 64.7 percent and up from 64.8 percent a month earlier

Japan's exports decline slows as auto demand perks up.
Japan's exports extended declines in October but at the slowest rate in almost two years, as increases in Chinese and US demand for automobiles and other items drove exports, helping the world's third-largest economy emerged from its worst post war slump. Ministry of Finance data out on Wednesday showed that exports fell 0.2 percent in October from a year earlier, compared with economists' estimates of a 4.5 percent decline. It was the smallest decline in Japan's 23 straight months of export contraction and comes on the heels of 4.9 percent drop in the previous month. The trade data is likely to encourage policymakers who are counting on external demand to shift Japan's recovery away from government stimulus back to private sector activity, although a coronavirus resurgence has clouded the outlook. 
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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).