Markets: (Data compiled by TOMD)
At the end of January, major global markets closed in mixed territory. Vaccine supply issues and short-term economic concerns continue to weigh on sentiment. In the last week of the month, President Biden said the US was working to secure more doses in response to complaints of shortages, while the UK and EU were locked in a spat over the supply of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine.
the US, stocks soared to record highs in January on the hope that stimulus from the Biden administration could accelerate the economic rebound but shares on Wall Street followed European indices lower toward the end of the month, as trading intensified between retail traders and brokers over a handful of closely followed stocks. During the final trading day of the month, the Dow shed over 600 points to close below 30,000 for the first time in six weeks, ending the month in negative territory, down just over 2%, while the Nasdaq closed up 1.42%.
In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed the month down 0.82% to end January on 6,407.46, with the index dropping to its lowest level since the start of December, as virus deaths remain high. The FTSE 250 followed suit, losing 1.27%, while the AIM index closed up 0.31%. The mood was similarly negative on European markets, as the Euro Stoxx declined 2.52% in the month. The Nikkei 225 closed January up 0.80%.
On the foreign exchanges, sterling closed the month at $1.37 against the US dollar. The euro closed at €1.13 against sterling and at $1.21 against the US dollar.
Brent crude closed the month trading at around $54 a barrel, a monthly gain of over 6%, despite this, a consumption rally has cooled after a strong run, in a sign investors were reducing their expectations of demand, amid reinstated lockdowns and spreading virus variants. Gold is trading at around $1,853 a troy ounce, a loss of just over 2% on the month.