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Market update 6 April: European markets up on news of fewer corona cases

  • The S&P 500 and Dow Jones both closed down around two percent on Friday.
  • The oil price keeps falling, which casts doubt on Saudi Arabia and Russia's ability to reach a deal to cut oil supply to drive up prices. 
  • On Friday afternoon, the US monthly payroll numbers were announced. The numbers came in much worse than expected (survey Bloomberg).
  • The US service PMI and ISM non-manufacturing were also released on Friday afternoon. The PMI came in at 40, while the ISM ended at 52.5, well ahead of expectations and above 50. This is surprising and is due to the unusual situation around an index for supplier deliveries. In normal times, when businesses have a hard time getting supplies, this reflects strong demand, which pushes an index of supplier deliveries into positive territory. The sub-indexes for business activity slowed to 48 from 57.8 in February, the lowest reading since July 2009. And the index for employment in the services sector fell to 47 from 55.6 in February. Overall, the numbers point to a sharp slowdown in economic activity.

SKAGEN Funds summary

  • No material changes.
  • The funds are preparing for the Q1 reports to come in from the portfolio companies sometime after Easter.
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