Archive for March 2018

Deeper Analysis

March and First Quarter 2018 in Figures

March 31, 2018

March was a difficult month for equities, largely because of Fed tightening, U.S.-inspired geopolitical uncertainty, and trade war fears. Nevertheless, U.S. share price losses in the first quarter of 2018 were generally smaller than declines recorded in other countries. Despite higher short-term interest rates during March especially in the United States and Great Britain, year-to-date […] More

Foreign Exchange Insights and Next Week

Next Week

March 30, 2018

Holiday Closures: Many markets will remain shut on Easter Monday such as France, Italy, Germany, the U.K., Spain, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong. The Ching Ming Festival will be celebrated Thursday in Hong Kong and Thursday and Friday in China. South Africa’s Family Day is on Monday. Purchasing Manager Surveys: Multiple PMIs will […] More

New Overnight Developments Abroad - Daily Update

First Quarter Ends with a Holiday and Released Japanese Data

March 30, 2018

Numerous markets around the world are closed for Good Friday/Easter, and many of these will not open again until Tuesday. The Jewish celebration of Passover begins tonight as well. The Japanese Nikkei ended the quarter with a 1.4% advance but still lost 5.8% for the quarter. Share price gains in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand […] More

Central Bank Watch

Czech National Bank

March 29, 2018

Czech monetary policy underwent important modifications in 2017. At an extraordinary session on April 6, officials ended a 3-1/2 year experiment with an asymmetric exchange rate target to prevent the koruna with automatic intervention from strengthening past the 27 per euro level. The use of intervention as a discretionary policy tool was retained. Then on […] More

New Overnight Developments Abroad - Daily Update

Dollar Down a Bit, Stocks Go a Little Higher

March 29, 2018

The dollar has slipped 0.4% against the yen, 0.3% relative to the Aussie currency, 0.2% versus the peso, yuan and loonie, and 0.1% vis-a-vis the euro and Swiss franc. The dollar also edged up 0.1% against sterling overnight. British real GDP growth last quarter was confirmed to have risen 0.4%, down from a 0.5% increase […] More

Deeper Analysis

Is U.S. Growth Really Strengthening?

March 28, 2018

Although the first derivative of the U.S. economy’s size has been very consistently positive, the answer to the above question is more debatable. In the nearly nine years since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009, real GDP rose in 35 of 36 quarters through end-2017, and the exception was a mere 0.9% annualized on-quarter dip […] More

Central Bank Watch

South African Reserve Bank Cuts Interest Rate for First time in Eight Months

March 28, 2018

By a narrow 4-3 vote, the Monetary Policy Committee cut South Africa’s repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%. The first move of this easing was made in July 2017, and today’s reduction was the second. A released statement observes reduced in-target price movement and diminished inflation risks since the previous meeting in January, […] More

Central Bank Watch

Bank of Thailand’s Interest Rate Again Held at 1.50%

March 28, 2018

A sole dissenting vote in favor of raising the Thai central bank interest rate to 1.75% was outgunned by a 6-vote majority of the Monetary Policy Committee that preferred leaving the rate at 1.5%. The level has been there since a pair of 25-basis point cuts in March and April of 2015. Six earlier quarter […] More

New Overnight Developments Abroad - Daily Update

Investors Not Sure What to Think

March 28, 2018

Although stocks traded mostly lower overnight, U.S. futures point to a rise around the open. However, a pattern seems to be forming of early resilience giving way to sell-offs in the final part of each session. This is reminiscent of 2008-09, when much of the markets steep decline occurred in the final 30 minutes of […] More

Central Bank Watch

Hungarian National Bank

March 27, 2018

Monetary policy settings were not changed by Hungary’s monetary council. The Base Rate remains at at 0.90%, its level since a 15 basis point cut in May 2016. The overnight deposit rate stays at negative 0.15%, its level since a 10-basis point reduction last September. A loose policy is justified because inflation still lies at […] More

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