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April 1, 2016

April 1, 2016

Time (GMT) Currency Event Previous Forecast
01:00 CNY Manufacturing PMI 49.0 49.3
01:00 CNY Non-Manufacturing PMI 52.7
01:45 CNY Caixin Manufacturing PMI 48.0 48.3
08:00 EUR Final Manufacturing PMI 51.4 51.4
08:30 GBP Manufacturing PMI 50.8 51.4
12:30 USD Average Hourly Earnings m/m -0.1% 0.2%
12:30 USD Non-Farm Employment Change 242K 206K
12:30 USD Unemployment Rate 4.9% 4.9%
14:00 USD ISM Manufacturing PMI 49.5 50.8

 

Global Commentary

Asian markets were mixed Thursday, with most markets finishing the day in the red.  Japan’s Nikkei spent most of the day just above the unchanged line, but plummeted to a 0.71% loss in the final 15 minutes of trading in response to a speech by Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.  On the other end of the spectrum we had the Australian S&P/ASX 200 posting a 1.45% gain for the day as it significantly outperformed the region.  China’s Shanghai Composite was higher by 0.11% on fresh liquidity from the People’s Bank of China and a stronger Yuan versus the USD.  In Hong Kong the Hang Seng finished 0.13% lower due to concerns about practices in mainland China’s financial markets.  Elsewhere the Kospi in South Korea was off by 0.31%, while the Singapore Straits Times Index fell by 1.11% to underperform the region.  European markets finished broadly lower as the Euro continued to strengthen, putting pressure on Europe’s export companies.  The Stoxx Europe 600 ended the session 1.07% lower, with Germany’s DAX falling 0.81% and the French CAC 40 off by 1.34%.  London’s FTSE was 0.46% lower as utilities and energy shares were a drag on the market.  Markets in the U.S. finished their best month since October on a sour note as they edged broadly lower for the day.  The S&P 500 was 0.20% lower, the Dow dropped 0.18%, and the Nasdaq sqeezed out a 0.01% gain.

 

FOREX

EUR – The Euro strength not only continued on Thursday, but it picked up steak as the currency made significant gains against rivals.

GBP – The Pound was mixed Thursday as it fell against the Euro, firmed modestly versus the Yen and finished unchanged against the USD.

USD – The USD didn’t return to strength Thursday, but it was closer as it ended the session unchanged against the Yen and the Pound, but did soften versus the Euro.

JPY – The Yen softened against the Euro and less so versus the Pound, while finishing unchanged against the USD.

TRY – The Lira firmed broadly against major currencies Thursday, keeping alive the rally that began in February.

RUB – The Ruble made solid gains against major currencies Thursday, cementing a 12% gain for the month of March.


Commodities

Metals – After the Wednesday drop in gold some bargain hunting emerged Thursday.  The precious metals are also benefitting from the weaker USD.  June gold was up $7.20 at $1,235.60 an ounce. May silver was up $0.244 at $15.455 an ounce.

Oil – Crude climbed slightly Thursday as traders remain uncertain about the supply side for crude.  Crude oil for May delivery tacked on $0.02 to settle at $38.34 a barrel.  On a monthly basis crude had its best performance in nearly a year, gaining 13.5% in March.


Indices

S&P500 – The S&P spent the morning trading in positive territory, but just as it appeared a rally was beginning the market sagged and dropped into the red.  It continued to edge lower throughout the afternoon, ending the day with a 0.20% loss.  On a monthly basis it was the best performance for the index since last October as the S&P gained 6.7% in March.

DAX – The DAX opened lower and spent a choppy session trending lower still to post a loss of 0.81% as investors were worried about the strength of Germany’s export sector given the recent rally in the Euro.

Nikkei – The Nikkei opened to gains, but slipped back to unchanged levels by noon as a stronger Yen weighed on equities.  The market bounced between small gains and unchanged levels for most of the afternoon.  Just before the close, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda gave a speech in which he said his monetary easing plan of bond purchases and negative interest rates has no “quantitative limit”, sending equities crashing lower and the Nikkei to a 0.71% loss for the session.


Stocks

Twitter – Shares of the micro-blogging social media site have continued falling for nearly a year as they came off their most recent high just above $50 a share last April.  As of yesterday the stock is trading at just $16.55 a share and despite a small pop in late February the stock looks as if it could head lower still.  In March as the broader market put in its best performance in the past 5 months, shares of Twitter languished, falling from $20 a share at the beginning of the month.  Investors continue to be pessimistic about the future of the company as user growth has slowed and advertising revenue lags that of other social networks such as Facebook.  How low can Twitter go?  It’s anyone’s guess as the current price is well below the average analyst estimates.

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