Daily Digest:
w/c 4 March 2024: US stock averages higher again to end the week, prodding at record levels; upcoming week's focus on the Fed's Powell testimony before Congress and the US Employment report

Stock Indices Plunge on Hawkish Powell, Bank Worries, Mixed Job Report


Macroeconomic/ geopolitical developments

  • Jerome Powell testified to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday and highlighted a far more hawkish tone than previously seen, highlighting a likely higher peak in US rates.
Jerome Powell
  • The US banking sector was negatively hit by worries regarding the state of SVB Financial, Silicon Valley Bank. Customers withdrew deposits as the regional bank was forced to realize losses held on its balance sheet to meet capital requirements. According to The Wall Street Journal, this was the second-biggest bank failure in U.S. history.
  • Friday saw the release of the US Employment report, which was mixed. Nonfarm jobs posted a February rise of 311K, notably above consensus expectations of around 200K, the unemployment rate unexpectedly increased from a multi-decade low at 3.4% to 3.6%, whilst average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, slightly less than expected.

Global financial market developments

  • European indices saw notable losses too but continue to broadly outperform their US counterparts.
  • US and European Bond yields were notably lower at the end of last week, after nudging lower to start the week.
  • The US Dollar Index reversed lower from midweek, having pushed initially up to a new multi-month high.
  • Gold reversed higher from midweek having probed back down close to a multi-month low.
  • Oil sold off and signalled a negative tone to a wider consolidation.

Key this week

  • Geopolitical: US switched to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday 12/03, the time difference between the UK/ Europe to the US is now one hour narrower for two weeks (until 26/03) 
  • Central Bank Watch: Bank of Japan (BoJ) Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes are released Wednesday, Thursday sees the European Central Bank (ECB) Monetary Policy Decision, Statement and Press Conference. 
  • Macroeconomic data: Tuesday brings the critical data for the week, US CPI and then US Retail Sales is released on Wednesday.
DateKey Macroeconomic Events
13/03/23US switched to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday 12/03
14/03/23UK Employment report; US CPI  
15/03/23BoJ Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes; China Retails Sales; EU industrial Production; US Retail Sales 
16/03/23Australian Employment report; ECB Monetary Policy Decision, Statement and Press Conference
17/03/23EU CPI; Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

Editor in chief

Steve Miley is the Market Chartist and has 32 years of financial market experience and as a seasoned expert now has many responsibilities. He is the founder, Director and Primary Analyst at The Mar... Continued

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