Despite some early losses amid concern centred on the spread of the Delta Covid-19 variant, US equities recovered strongly to post healthy gains by Friday’s close; the S&P 500 index returning +2.0% over the course of the week. This was helped by some improved US housing data, with existing home sales rising 22.9% in June, year-on-year . Treasuries were volatile, with the yield on the 10-year note dipping as low as 1.16% on Monday before rebounding to 1.30% at the end of the week. 
European markets followed a similar trajectory to their US peers; Germany’s DAX 30 index and the French CAC 40 climbing to weekly gains of +0.8% and +1.7%, respectively. The Euro weakened a little versus the US Dollar following the first European Central Bank policy meeting since they concluded a framework review. The bank’s President Christine Legarde confirmed no changes were made to policy.
The UK’s FTSE 100 index recouped its losses on Monday to end the week +0.3% higher. UK retail sales volumes increased +0.5% between May and June, as shoppers spent more money on food to enjoy the Euro 2020 football tournament, whilst May’s data was also revised modestly higher. The latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) surveys however suggested business activity in manufacturing and services had grown at a slower rate than forecasts suggested.
Oil prices suffered their biggest daily decline in more than a year after OPEC and other major oil exporters struck a deal to increase output, an outcome that had seemed unlikely in recent weeks. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $66 last Monday, before rebounding to end the week close to where it began, a shade over $72 per barrel.
The Federal Reserve will draw investors’ attention again this week with policy makers due to meet on Wednesday. Whilst no change is expected to monetary policy at this stage, market participants will be looking for more detail regarding the US central bank’s intentions to taper existing stimulus measures.
Second quarter growth data is expected this week from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis as well as across Europe. These will be preliminary estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on available data and the consensus forecast amongst economists suggests an 8.5% annualised growth rate in the States, due on Thursday. European nations are due to publish on Friday and are also expected to have recovered well during Q2, whilst the equivalent UK data is scheduled in two weeks’ time.
In a fairly a busy week of economic data releases, US durable goods orders on Tuesday may give an early pointer to economic growth, whilst European unemployment data is also due this week. In Asia, Japanese industrial production, retail sales and unemployment readings are all due in the early hours of Friday morning. 
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Market data: FE Analytics
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