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• US equities returned -4.5% last week
• The New York Fed Global Supply Chain Pressure Index fell below its long-term historical average in February for the first time since August 2019
• Initial jobless claims came in at 211k over the week ending March 4 (vs. 195k expected), the highest level so far in 2023
• The quits rate of those voluntarily leaving their jobs (which is strongly correlated with wage growth) fell to its lowest level in almost two years, at 2.5%
• UK equities returned -2.4% last week
• UK Gross Domestic Product growth for January came in higher than expected at 0.3% (vs. 0.1% expected)
• HSBC emerged as the leading white-knight bidder as it paid a symbolic £1 for the UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank in a fire-sale facilitated by the UK Treasury and the Bank of England
• European equities returned -2.1% last week
• Euro Area economy didn’t grow at all in Q4 of last year, contrary to previous estimates that there’d be a +0.1% expansion
• Euro Area retail sales grew by +0.3% in January, which was a bit beneath the +0.6% expected)
• Robert Holzmann one of the biggest hawks on the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, said he assumed “that core inflation will not weaken significantly in the first half of the year”
• Global emerging market equities returned -3.3% last week
• Japanese equities rose by 0.6% last week
• Chinese inflation came in weaker than expected with consumer prices up by +1.0% in the year to February (vs. +1.9% expected)
• The Bank of Japan (BOJ) left its key interest rate unchanged at -0.1%, while maintaining its yield curve control policy
• China’s exports in the first two months of 2023 were stronger than expected, dropping -6.8% from a year before (vs. -9.4% expected)