The New Zealand dollar lost a fortnight’s gains yesterday after the central bank launched a dovish stance alongside its decision to maintain interest rates on hold. The cost to the currency – a 100-pip bear gap consolidating at the bottom of the range. This comes alongside a reported 14% drop in Chinese company profits in the first 2 months of the year – according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Despite all this, Asian indexes yesterday caught up, mostly, with gains in the US and Europe – all but the Nikkei 225 up between ½ and 1.5%. Reuters this morning reports that the China Development Bank is providing another $190bn for the nation’s Belt & Road plan, which could now encompass Iran and Syria, as well as Italy.
Britain’s parliament is to vote on Brexit again, today after voting yesterday to co-opt the process from government. Expectations are for May to announce her resignation if her plan is not finally accepted. Chances of legislators voting in a no-deal Brexit being slim to nil, the pound continues jerkily sideways, while the FTSE toes the European line – all up between ¼ and ¾ of a percent. Yesterday, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation reported that UK companies have scaled back hiring considerably. Ahead today, speeches by the ECB’s Mario Draghi and other officials.
Last week’s decision by the US Fed to re-commence increasing its assets inventories has so far resulted in a slight upswing in the dollar and – perhaps – an equities recovery from Friday’s bloodbath. So far, half the losses have been regained on the DJIA and S&P, a 1/3 for the Nasdaq. Yesterday’s housing starts and permits disappointed investors, but the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s price index doubled from 0.3% to 0.6. Case Shiller, on the other hand, showed a ½% drop to 3.6% in January. The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau will today report the nation’s trade balance, as will Canada its imports and exports.
Yesterday’s surprising, just-less-than 2mB increase had little effect on rising oil prices, WTI peaking above the 60 line, then returning to side-trend at 59.97. Consequentially, today’s EIA anticipation has risen from sub-0 to the 0.3mB region. Meanwhile, after another upward hiccup, Gold overnight added another $1.50 per troy ounce before levelling out in the 1316 vicinity.
Renault yesterday announced that if its bid to merge with Nissan fails, it may bid for Fiat/Chrysler. And, finally, to put another nail in the coffin, a Boeing 737 Max on its way from Orlando to storage in California had to return home and make an emergency landing.
|08:00 AM GMT – EU ECB’s||President Draghi speech|
|09:00 AMGMT – Italy||Consumer Confidence, Business Confidence & Trade Balance (Feb)|
|11:00 AM GMT – USA||MBA Mortgage Applications (Mar 22)|
|12:30 AMGMT – USA||Trade Balance (Jan)|
|12:30 PM GMT – Canada||International Merchandise Trade, Imports & Exports (Jan)|
|14:30 PM GMT – OIL||EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change (Mar 22)|
|19:30 PM GMT – UK||Parliamentary Vote on Brexit|
|23:50 PM GMT – Japan||Foreign Bond & Stocks Investments (Mar 22)|
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