Forex Market

Market Update – March 17 – Another day another bank bailout

A private ($30 bln) “rescue” of First Republic Bank by a consortium of 11 big banks helped ease concerns over a full blown financial crisis. Their efforts were rewarded yesterday, as risk appetite improved and investors returned to Wall Street, lifting the major indexes sharply.  USA100 jump 2.48% and is up 7.95% from Monday’s nadir, the US500 advance 1.76%, and the USA30 was 1.17% firmer. A risk off mood that raced around the world this week has cooled. Asian markets are firmer too (Hang Seng leads at +1.44%) and European FUTS are also in positive territory.

USD & Treasuries have cooled as yields recover. The 2-year jumped 27 bp to 4.155% and the 10-year was up 12 bp to 3.569%, back over the 4.00% and 3.5% levels, respectively. The curve bear flattened to -59 bp from -44 bp on Wednesday and versus -108 bp a week ago.

ECB delivered a 50 bp rate hike, and stuck to its guns, despite the turmoil in financial markets this week. The guidance on future moves was not surprisingly dropped though and the ECB stressed that future decisions will be data dependent. Ms. Lagarde’s Press Conference emphasised the data dependency approach.

US Data & Overnight: US Weekly Claims fell again (192k vs. 212k) and the Housing Data was also better than expected. Japanese Tertiary Industrial Activity rose significantly too (0.95 vs -0.4% last month).

FXUSDIndex has dipped to test  103.50 today from 104.70 highs on Wednesday.  EUR tanked to 1.0550 lows as the ECB announcement was digested, before rallying to  1.0660 now. The 1.0600-1.0700 range remains key. JPY spiked below 132.00, rallied to 133.75 and is back to 133.00 now. Sterling rallied over 1.2100 yesterday and trades at 1.2160 now. 
Stocks – The US markets rallied (+1.17% to +2.48%) Movers: SCHW -2.80%, FRC rallied +10% (but lost –17% after hours). Tech giants gained over 4% MSFT, AMZN & GOOG . US500 +1.67% (+68) to 3960, US500 FUTS higher too 4000 now. 


Commodities – USOil – Futures tested the 15-mth low at $65.70 again yesterday before recovering to $69.00. Gold – holds the key psychological $1900 level, at $1930 down from yesterday’s 6-week $1935 high.     
Cryptocurrencies BTC has again rallied over $25K & $26k to $26.5k now. 

Today – EZ HICP (Final), US Industrial Production, Leading Index Change, Univ. of Michigan (Prelim.) and Quad Witching.

Biggest FX Mover @ (07:30 GMT) NZDUSD (+0.95%). Continued the rally today from yesterday’s low under 0.6150 back to test 0.6250 now. MA’s aligned higher, MACD histogram & signal line positive & rising, RSI 71.00, OB & rising, H1 ATR 0.00128, Daily ATR 0.00766.

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Stuart Cowell

Head Market Analyst

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