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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 4th December 2020
04 Dec 2020
The OECD trims its global growth forecast and called for increased policymaker action. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revised its 2021 global growth projection for next year down from 5.0 percent to 4.2 percent. This follows an upward revision for 2020 annual growth, up from -4.5 percent to -4.2 percent. 2022 annual growth expectations remain at 3.7 percent, a marginal moderation from 2021. It added that the world economy is expected to return to the pre-Covid19 crisis GDP levels by the end of 2021, aided by the prospect of wide availability of vaccines. The OECD however warned that “the path remains long and difficult”.
U.S. construction spending exceeds expectations, manufacturing index slightly below forecast. A US Commerce Department October report showed US construction spending increased more than expected, increasing by 1.3 percent compared to the 0.8 percent increase forecasted by economists to total $1.44 trillion. Increases were registered in private construction as well as educational and highway construction. US manufacturing activity meanwhile also continued expanding, albeit at a slower pace. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported a Manufacturing PMI of 57.5 for November compared to 59.3 in October, with absenteeism, sanitisation-related shutdowns and hiring headwinds contributing to the figure coming in below the 58.0 forecast.
Italy’s Q3 exit from recession confirmed by Istat. The 15.9 percent increase in GDP follows a 13 percent contraction the previous quarter. Istat added that the increase represented a revision downward from its initial Q3 estimate of 16.1 percent growth. Italy’s GDP has contracted 5 percent on an annual basis. GDP growth recovery was experienced across various components, with consumption expenditure rising 9.2 percent compared to the Q2, and gross fixed investment soaring 31.3 percent over the same period. Net trade also increased, with imports rising by 15.9 percent and exports rising by 30.7 percent on a quarterly basis. Contribution to the rebound in GDP came from across all main sectors, with industrial growth coming in at 33.1 percent and services growing at 11.9 percent. Farm output was relatively stable, gaining 0.2 percent output in Q3 over the previous quarter.
Eurozone unemployment rate continues falling. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Euro Area fell marginally from 8.5 percent in September down to 8.4 percent in October 2020. Unemployment in the Eurozone was highest in July of the same year after rising to 8.7 percent from a low of 7.2 percent in April. Despite there being 86,000 less people classified as unemployed in the economic bloc, Eurostat pointed out that the statistic only includes people who were unemployed and actively seeking employment in the preceding four weeks and were also available to start work in the preceding two weeks. It also highlighted the surge in unemployment benefit claims across member states and that a material proportion of those registered were no longer actively searching for employment or were not available to work owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia and OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) agree to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels per day from January 2021. The increase in production comes after a previous agreement to reduce oil production by 7.7 million barrels per day in response to the Covid-19 pandemic collapsing demand for energy. The group, also referred to as OPEC+, further committed to holding monthly meetings with the purpose of assessing market conditions and adjusting supply accordingly. Nevertheless, such adjustments would not exceed 0.5 million barrels at a time, keeping investor speculation and oil price volatility under control. Oil markets’ initial reaction to the announcement was positive, with WTI Crude rising 0.8 percent and Brent rising 1.2 percent.
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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).