- U.S. Stocks, Oil Rise as Dollar Slips Before Fed
U.S. stocks edged higher as crude rebounded from a November low, while Treasuries advanced and the dollar slipped before the Federal Reserve’s anticipated rate increase.
Energy shares led gains in the S&P 500 Index as West Texas Intermediate oil jumped above $48 a barrel after an industry report pointed to falling crude stockpiles. A broader recovery of commodities spurred the Stoxx Europe 600 Index higher, with miners driving many of the gains. The dollar slipped versus most major peers and 10-year Treasury rates slipped to 2.58 percent.
The swings in oil added some drama to financial markets that have entered a two-day period brimming with central bank decisions, European political drama and a raft of economic data. With the Fed seen as all but certain to raise rates, investors have been weighing how precarious energy prices will feed into the central bank’s path for future moves.
“If you’re excited about whether Fed Chair Janet Yellen will say anything about the number of hikes this year, I think you will be disappointed,” Henrik Drusebjerg, chief strategist at Carnegie Investment Bank AB said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio’s Nejra Cehic and Markus Karlsson. “The Fed has come to use a new term that they will use the window when they have it. If the economy is strong, they will continue hiking.”
What investors will be watching:
- The Fed’s decision will be announced at 2 p.m. in Washington, followed by Yellen’s news conference a half hour later. Investors are focused on any hints of a change in the number of increases the central bank foresees this year.
- Wednesday’s vote in the Netherlands will deliver a reading on the state of populism in Europe as races in France and Germany heat up.
- The Bank of Japan is set to keep its rates and yield-curve policy unchanged in its policy decision on Thursday. The Bank of England, Swiss National Bank and Bank Indonesia are also expected to stand pat with policy decisions.
- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Japan, South Korea and China in his first visit to the region since taking office.
- U.S. President Donald Trump’s first budget outline for fiscal 2018 is expected on Thursday. He’s said he’ll seek a $54 billion boost in defense spending, paid for by an equal amount of cuts to non-defense agencies.
Here are the main market moves:
- The S&P 500 added 0.2 percent to 2,370.80 at 9:31 a.m. in New York.
- Energy producers climbed 0.4 percent after sinking more than 2 percent Tuesday.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3 percent as mining companies rallied 1.5 percent as a group.
- WTI gained 1.6 percent to $48.48. U.S. inventories fell by 531,000 barrels last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to report.
- Gold futures slipped 0.2 percent to $1,200 an ounce in New York.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped by 0.2 percent and dropped against all but two of its major peers.
- The British pound led G10 currencies with a gain of 0.4 percent, but pared an earlier advance after wage growth slowed. A YouGov poll for The Times showed that 57 percent of Scottish voters want to remain inside the U.K. compared to 43 percent who seek independence.
- The euro rose by 0.2 percent to $1.0627, following its 0.5 percent drop a day earlier.
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell three basis points to 2.577, after slipping three basis points in Tuesday trading.
- Dutch bond yields fell as voters head to the polls in the Netherlands, with five and 10-year benchmarks outperforming bunds by one-to-two basis points.
- Stocks in Asia were mixed. Hong Kong shares pared declines as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang played down the risk of a trade conflict. Speaking at a press conference after the close of the annual National People’s Congress, Li said it’s important for both China and the U.S. to keep talking to build trust.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
Oil Rises on Drawdown in U.S. Oil Stocks, OPEC Demand Outlook
Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand.
Brent crude futures rose 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $63.95 a barrel at 0057 GMT, after climbing 39 cents on Tuesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly climbed 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $60.46 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents.
Oil price gains over the past week have been underpinned by signs of a strong economic recovery in China and the United States, but have been capped by concerns over stalled vaccine rollouts worldwide and soaring COVID-19 infections in India and Brazil.
Nevertheless, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tweaked up its forecast on Tuesday for world oil demand growth this year, now expecting demand to rise by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, up by 70,000 bpd from its forecast last month. It is banking on the pandemic to subside and travel curbs to be eased.
“It was a welcome prognosis by the market, which had been fretting about the impact the ongoing pandemic was having on demand,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.
Further supporting the market on Wednesday, sources said data from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude stocks fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week ended April 9, compared with estimates for a decline of about 2.9 million barrels from analysts polled by Reuters.
Traders are waiting to see if official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday matches that view.
Market gains are being capped on concerns about increased oil production in the United States and rising supply from Iran at a time when OPEC and its allies, together called OPEC+, are set to bring on more supply from May.
“They may have to contend with rising U.S. supply,” ANZ analysts said.
EIA said this week oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 13,000 bpd in May to 7.61 million bpd.
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