Latest fraudulent alert - last updated on Apr 2023. To find out more information and how to protect yourself, please click here.

Investment Institute
Weekly Market Update

Take Two: ECB “not sufficiently confident” to start cutting rates yet; China sets 2024 growth target

  • 11 March 2024 (3 min read)

What do you need to know?

European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde acknowledged that while inflation is falling back towards its 2% target, the central bank is not yet “sufficiently confident” to start cutting rates yet. At its monetary policy meeting last week, it left its main interest rate on hold at 4.0%. Markets are pricing a rate cut in June, which “seems to be converging” with the ECB’s view, Lagarde added. A flash estimate earlier this month showed inflation had fallen to 2.6% in February from 2.8% in January. Meanwhile Eurozone fourth quarter (Q4) GDP growth was confirmed at 0.0% on a quarterly basis. Separately, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell stated in testimony to Congress that the Fed was “not far” from having confidence to begin its own rate cutting cycle. 

Around the world

China set its 2024 annual growth target, once again, at “around 5%”, as Premier Li Qiang marked his debut opening of the annual National People’s Congress last week. Although the new target is in line with 2023’s, it may be seen as ambitious given that in 2022, growth had been supressed by China’s ‘Zero-COVID’ policy. Several measures to bolster the country’s sluggish recovery from the pandemic were also announced, including initiatives designed to help its troubled property sector. Additionally, a series of central government special bonds will be issued over the following years, starting with RMB ¥1trn (around $139bn) for 2024.

Figure in focus: 37.4 billion tonnes

Energy-based global carbon emissions rose to a record high in 2023, though they increased at a slower pace than the year before, due to a rise in renewable energy, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Emissions rose to 37.4 billion tonnes, increasing by 410 million tons in 2023, a 1.1% rise from 2022. The IEA highlighted the progress made in implementing clean energy technologies, citing solar, wind and nuclear power as well as electric cars. It claimed that without such developments the global increase in carbon emissions over the past five years would have been three times larger.

Words of wisdom

Super Tuesday: The day in the US Presidential election process when the largest number of states hold primary elections, with the results viewed as a strong indicator of the candidate most likely to secure their party’s nomination to run for Presidency. Donald Trump won 14 of the 15 states, prompting his main rival Nikki Haley to withdraw from the race. Meanwhile President Joe Biden set out the themes of his election campaign in the State of the Union address.

What’s coming up?

On Monday, Japan issues its final estimate for Q4 GDP growth. On Tuesday, the US publishes inflation data for February while the UK reports its latest unemployment figures. The UK publishes GDP growth covering January on Wednesday, while the Eurozone releases industrial production figures. On Friday, the US publishes its own industrial and manufacturing production data for February.


    This website is published by AXA Investment Managers Asia Limited (“AXA IM HK”), an entity licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (“SFC”), for general circulation and informational purposes only. It does not constitute investment research or financial analysis relating to transactions in financial instruments, nor does it constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers or its affiliated companies an offer to buy, sell or enter into any transactions in respect of any investments, products or services, and should not be considered as solicitation or investment, legal, tax or any other advice, a recommendation for an investment strategy or a personalised recommendation to buy or sell securities under any applicable law or regulation. It has been prepared without taking into account the specific personal circumstances, investment objectives, financial situation, investment knowledge or particular needs of any particular person and may be subject to change at any time without notice. Offering may be made only on the basis of the information disclosed in the relevant offering documents. Please consult independent financial or other professional advisers if you are unsure about any information contained herein.

    Due to its simplification, this publication is partial and opinions, estimates and forecasts herein are subjective and subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee such opinions, estimates and forecasts made will come to pass. Actual results of operations and achievements may differ materially. Data, figures, declarations, analysis, predictions and other information in this publication is provided based on our state of knowledge at the time of creation of this publication. Information herein may be obtained from sources believed to be reliable. AXA IM HK has reasonable belief that such information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AXA IM HK, its affiliates, directors, officers or employees take no responsibility for the data provided by third party, including the accuracy of such data. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision. References to companies (if any) are for illustrative purposes only and should not be viewed as investment recommendations or solicitations.

    All investment involves risk, including the loss of capital. The value of investments and the income from them can fluctuate and that past performance is no guarantee of future returns, investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Investors should not make any investment decision based on this material alone. 

    Some of the services listed on this Website may not be available for offer to retail investors.

    This Website has not been reviewed by the SFC. © 2023 AXA Investment Managers. All rights reserved.