Thursday 21st March: Asian markets higher as Fed hits the brakes.

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Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.20%, Shanghai Composite up 0.35%, Hang Seng down 0.65%, ASX up 0.03%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1318.65 (+1.30%), Silver at $15.61 (+1.89%), Brent Oil at $68.53 (+0.04%), WTI Oil at $60.13 (-0.17%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 2.526, UK 10-year yield at 1.146, Germany 10-year yield at 0.067

News & Data:

  • (AUD) Unemployment Rate 4.90% vs 5.00% expected
  • (AUD) Employment Change 4.6K vs 14.8K expected
  • (NZD) GDP q/q 0.60% vs 0.60% expected
  • (USD) Federal Funds Rate <2.50% vs <2.50% expected
  • (GBP) RPI y/y 2.50% vs 2.50% expected
  • (GBP) PPI Input m/m 0.60% vs 0.60% expected
  • (GBP) CPI y/y 1.90% vs 1.80% expected
  • China Commerce Ministry: USTR Lighthizer, Mnuchin Will Visit China On Mar 28-29
  • UK Labour Leader Corbyn To Travel To Brussels On Thursday To Discuss Alternative Brexit Plan With EU Leaders – Labour Party

Markets Update:

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Thursday following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and also indicated it no longer expects to raise rates this year. However, gains are modest in most markets amid worries about U.S.-China trade talks and slowing global economic growth. The Japanese market is closed for a holiday.

The Australian market bucked the trend as investors also digested mixed Australian unemployment data for February. ASX 200 is flat, with the heavily weighted financial subindex declining more than 0.3 percent as bank shares sold off. Mainland Chinese shares gained, as the Shanghai composite advanced 0.35 percent and the Shenzhen component added 0.8 percent. In South Korea, the Kospi retraced some of its earlier gains but was still higher by 0.4 percent in afternoon trade as chipmaker SK Hynix saw its stock surge more than 6 percent.

The Fed’s comments dragged yields on benchmark U.S. Treasuries lower, with 10-year notes yielding 2.5245 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.537 percent on Wednesday. The dollar continued to ease after falling on Wednesday, with a basket tracking the currency against major rivals edging down to 95.874. The greenback was down about 0.1 percent against the Japanese currency, buying 110.59 yen.

Global growth worries extended to commodity markets, where oil prices, which had jumped Wednesday on supply concerns, retreated. Declines in oil prices, however, are seen to be limited by efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to curb supply. Widely watched U.S. data also showed supplies were tightening.

Upcoming Events:

  • 09:30 AM GMT – (CHF) SNB Monetary Policy Assessment
  • 09:30 AM GMT – (CHF) Libor Rate
  • 10:00 AM GMT – (CHF) SNB Press Conference
  • 10:30 AM GMT – (GBP) Retail Sales m/m
  • 10:30 AM GMT – (GBP) Public Sector Net Borrowing
  • All Day – (EUR) EU Economic Summit
  • 01:00 PM GMT – (GBP) MPC Official Bank Rate Votes
  • 01:00 PM GMT – (GBP) Monetary Policy Summary
  • 01:00 PM GMT – (GBP) Official Bank Rate
  • 01:00 PM GMT – (GBP) Asset Purchase Facility
  • 01:00 PM GMT – (GBP) MPC Asset Purchase Facility Votes
  • 01:30 PM GMT – (USD) Philly Fed Manufacturing Index
  • &more… 

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