Stocks continue month’s downward spiral! Wall Street reversed gains to close with declines of -1.6%, but the slump was a function of comments from Treasury Secretary Yellen rather than the Fed. FOMC hiked 25 bps as expected, 2023 median dot left unchanged at 5.125%.
“The Committee anticipates that some additional policy firming may be appropriate,” rather than “ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate.”- suggesting less than a 50-50 risk for another quarter point move!
Even though Powell began his press conference reiterating the banking system is “sound and resilient” and assured the Fed is prepared to use all its tools to keep it safe and sound, Yellen at the same time told lawmakers she wasn’t considering ways to provide broad guarantees to uninsured bank deposits. She assured Senator Joe Manchin that in the event the insurance is extended, it could be seen as a “special one-time assessment” where the cost was not a burden to customers with smaller deposits.
- FX – USDIndex slumped on the less hawkish view to 101.54 as Treasuries and implied Fed funds futures rallied on the policy outcome. That is not far from the 101.21 from February 1 which was the weakest since April 2022. EUR spiked to 1.0920, JPY has corrected to 130.80 from 130.41 low and Sterling to 1.2337 ahead of BOE.
In the UK, MPs backed Rishi Sunak’s new Brexit Northern Ireland deal!
- Stocks – Asian stock markets traded mixed, with Nikkei and ASX following Wall Street lower, but China bourses outperforming. European futures are down, in catch up trade, and ahead of today’s decisions. US100 down –1.6%, the US500 is up at –1.65% and the US30 to -1.63%. PNC -5.49% and US Bancorp USB -7.28% declined more than 5%. Giants like JPMorgan -2.58% and Bank of America Corp. -3.32% slipped more than 2%. First Republic FRC -15.47%.
- The FAANG era is apparently over! Apple & Microsoft weightage in the S&P500.
- Commodities – USOil – hovering around $70.
- Gold – Evening Star Formation & Head and Shoulders failed! Gold recovered and is back to $1980 highs on the weak USD. Next key Resistance at $1990-$2000.
- Cryptocurrencies – BTC filled March gap but found a floor at $27K.
Today – SNB and BOE Decisions are in the spotlight, while EU consumer confidence figures is also on tap.
Biggest FX Mover @ (07:30 GMT) GOLD (+1.66%). Jumped to 1983. MAs flattened indicating possible consolidation in the near term but MACD histogram & signal line remain well above 0 and RSI at 67 and flat.
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