Global equity markets advanced amid optimism around vaccine developments and a further commitment from the U.S. Federal Reserve to hold interest rates lower for longer. Global government bond yields climbed and commodity prices strengthened. Economic activity rebounded further in Canada and the U.S., however, unemployment remains high.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced led by gains in financials as banks posted better-than-expected Q2 earnings; defensive sectors underperformed with staples and utilities declining. Canadian real GDP shrank a historic 11.8% in Q2, but preliminary reports showed a record 6.5% rebound in June. Both GDP readings were better-than-expected helping push long-term yields higher.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) advanced led by communications, technology, and financials; utilities was the only sector to decline. The U.S. yield curve steepened with long-term yields climbing. The U.S. Federal Reserve officially adjusted its inflation strategy allowing more room to overshoot the 2% target following sustained periods of low inflation. Gold prices strengthened.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) advanced led by financials, consumer discretionary, and industrials. Japanese equities declined as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned due to health reasons.