US equities finished higher in large part due to the increase in commodity prices which led to a bid in the energy sector. The financial sector was also bid, off of the back of gains in Europe after Lloyds Bank increased its dividence and boosting other finance companies along the way. The DJIA finished up 1.29%, S&P 500 made gains of 1.13% and the NASDAQ made gains of 0.96%.
The USD was bid against its counterparts after better than expected economic data, which saw Core Durable Goods Orders and Durable Goods Orders beat expectations by a large margin to print 1.8% vs 0.2% and 4.9% vs 3% respectively. Feds Williams, a neutral non-voter, was notably bullish as he dismissed the effects of Chinese economic problems and made hawkish forecast, in which he sees inflation hitting 2% in two years and a US growth of 2.25% this year.
Today sees several releases out of the US, with the most notable being:
- Prelim GDP q/q expected at 0.4%
- Goods Trade Balance expected at -61.1B
- Personal Spending m/m expected at 0.3%
- Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment expected at 91.1
- FOMC Member Powell Speak
- FOMC Member Brainard Speaks
The pound has been lifted off of recent lows as BREXIT concerns have faded from the front pages for now. UK GDP Estimates came in at 0.5% which despite being as expected was considered bullish by market forces and outweighed the heavily dovish comments made by BOE`s Carney, who said that central banks are out of ammunition and the global economy is at risk of being trapped in a situation of low growth, inflation and interest rates. For now it seems that the GBP will be largely concerned with any comments regarding the BREXIT polls and any surprise announcement this weekend will see the GBP react accordingly on Sundays open, much as it did at the start of this week.
EU CPI continues to show a slowing economy, much to the dismay of the ECB as CPI y/y printed 0.3% vs the expected 0.4% forecasted by analysts. The EUR remains bid despite poor data and dovish comments out of the German Finance Minister, Schaeuble, who said that room for further monetary and fiscal policy has been exhausted and that he is against any G-20 fiscal stimulus measures that might be agreed. This weeks G-20 meeting will reveal much as to the future of fiscal policy of member nations as the global economy is sewn every tighter together.
Asian equities traded higher as positive US Index growth and energy gains continue to dictate risk sentiment. The Nikkei finished up 0.3% as a weaker JPY continues to support the exporting sector. The ASX 200 closed slightly positive with a 0.02% gain despite being underpinned by poor earnings results and weakness in iron ore prices. The PBOC liquidity injections and an improvement in the property sector led to the Shanghai Comp. finishing up 1.15%.
Oil surged over 7.5 % yesterday after Venezuela stated that oil producers are considering a meeting in March to discuss the current oversupply of the commodity with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar said to have agreed to the meeting so far. Crude ranged throughout the Asian session as it flirts with heavy resistance zones. Any new announcements regarding either other member accepting the invite to the meeting or dismissing the meeting will dictate the next move for crude.