March and First Quarter in Figures
April 1, 2017
March saw an introspective pause to the market euphoria of the first two months of 2017, but the quarter still experienced a broadly lower dollar and strong stock market gains for the most part, the Japanese Nikkei being a notable exception. Ten-year sovereign debt yields were mixed and resulted in less supportive U.S. premiums at the end of March than at the beginning of the year.
One theme of the quarter was a disparity between rallying U.S. business and consumer confidence according to surveys and a more lagging performance in actual hard data. This did not deter the Fed, which initially had not been expected to do a third interest rate hike until June, from implementing a 25-basis point increase at its March FOMC meeting.
One of the first quarter’s most notable market developments was a slide in oil prices in spite of efforts by producers to curb output, and this phenomenon occurred in the final month of the period. Gold rose solidly in the quarter as a whole as a foil to the depreciating dollar, but the metal’s uptrend ran out of steam in March.
|10-Yr Yield||03/31/17||Chg v End-Feb||Chg v End-Dec|
|U.S.||2.39%||+1 Basis Point||-5 Basis Points|
|3-month rates||03/31/17||Ch v End-Feb||Chg v End-Dec|
|U.S.||1.15%||+10 Basis Points||+15 Basis Points|
|FX||03/31/17||% Chg in USD||Pct Chg in $|
|Equities||03/31/17||Chg v End-Feb||Chg v End-Dec|
|Commodities||03/31/17||Chg v End-Feb||Chg v End-Dec|
|Oil, $ per barrel||50.60||-6.3%||-5.8%|
|Gold, $ per ounce||1247.30||-0.4%||+8.5%|
Copyright Larry Greenberg 2017. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.