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April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

Time (GMT) Currency Event Previous Forecast
All Day CNY Bank Holiday
01:30 AUD Building Approvals m/m -7.5% 2.1%
01:30 AUD Retail Sales m/m 0.3% 0.4%
08:30 GBP Construction PMI 54.2 54.3
09:00 EUR Unemployment Rate 10.3% 10.3%
14:00 USD Factory Orders m/m 1.6% -1.5%

Global Commentary 

Asian markets fell broadly Friday as commodities dropped and poor economic reports hurt investor sentiment in several Asian countries.  Mainland China bucked the falling trend as it recovered from a 1.6% morning loss to end the day 0.19% higher following a manufacturing PMI that showed expansion for the first time in eight months.  Investors in Hong Kong weren’t cheering the data though, and the Hang Seng ended the day off by 1.34%.  Australian markets started the day with significant losses and finished the day at session lows, posting a 1.64% loss.  In Singapore the Straits Times Index fell 0.79%, while the Kospi in South Korea lost 1.12% after South Korea posted its fifteenth consecutive month of falling exports.  The worst performance was seen in Japan though, where the Nikkei finished 3.55% lower as investor sentiment saw the floor drop out from underneath the market.  The gloom over Japan spread into the European session, where markets ended broadly lower as well.  Weak crude pushed the energy sector lower and the strong Euro weighed on equities as well.  The Stoxx Europe 600 ended the day 1.30% lower, with Germany’s DAX falling 1.71% and the CAC 40 in France off by 1.43%.  London’s FTSE also slid 0.47% lower thanks to falling crude prices and a strengthening USD.  U.S. markets rose on the slew of positive economic reports, including a better than expected jobs report.  By the close the S&P 500 was 0.63% higher, the Dow tacked on 0.62%, and the Nasdaq added 0.91%. 

FOREX

EUR – The Euro has a mixed performance Friday as it softened against the Yen and gained ever so slightly on the USD as it erased earlier larger gains.  Versus the Pound the Euro was significantly stronger.

GBP – The weakness in the Pound gained strength Friday as the British currency fell sharply and broadly against rivals.

USD – The USD showed late day strength as it firmed significantly against the Pound, erased early losses versus the Euro to end nearly unchanged, and sank against the Yen, despite the strong U.S. economic data and correspondingly weak Japanese data.

JPY – The Yen firmed broadly against rival currencies Friday, despite weak business sentiment in Japan.

TRY – The Lira was mostly weaker Friday, especially versus the Yen, though it did manage to firm against the Pound.

RUB – The Ruble was surprisingly resilient Friday, booking just small losses against most currencies even as crude tumbled by 4%.  The move lower in crude could catch up to the Ruble Monday if it continues.

Commodities

Metals – Precious metals gave back most of the gains for the week, as they fell due to a stronger USD Friday.  June gold dropped $12.10, or 1.00%, to settle at $1,223.50 an ounce, after trading as low as $1,210.30 intra-day.  May silver also sank on the stronger USD, falling $0.418, or 2.7%, to end at $15.046 an ounce.

Oil – Crude dropped sharply Friday after comments by a Saudi prince cast doubts on the country’s intentions to work with other nations on the global oversupply issues.  WTI crude for May was down $1.55 or 4%, to settle at $36.79 a barrel.

Indices 

S&P500 – The S&P began the day in the red as it was following the rout in Asia and Europe, but it quickly turned higher on the raft of positive economic data released in the U.S. Friday morning.  Chief among these was the non-farm payrolls report, which beat expectations.  By the end of the trading day, the S&P was 0.63% higher.

DAX – The DAX opened lower and continued to fall as investor confidence across Europe remains dismal.  The index saw a slight recovery in the afternoon on the better than expected U.S. jobs numbers, but the rally faded and the DAX ended the day 1.71% lower.

Nikkei – The Nikkei fell all day long after the Bank of Japan released the worst Tankan survey in roughly three years.  The survey showed that Japanese businesses are rapidly losing confidence in the ability of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to turn things around for Japan’s economy.  By the close of trading the Nikkei was 3.55% lower in its worst daily loss in seven weeks.

Stocks

Alphabet Inc. – After going nowhere for nearly two years, shares of Alphabet took off last summer.  After a solid rise, the stock has turned volatile this year, bouncing as low as $663.06 and as high as $789.87 a share.  It looks as if the volatility has calmed over the past month though as the stock has made a smooth recovery from its low of 2016 in a consistent climb that has taken it to $749.91 a share as of the close Friday.  The company continues to struggle somewhat with mobile advertising, but that is improving, but investors are most excited about the growth potential in the company’s cloud computing business.  Analysts are also very bullish on the stock, with 43 buy recommendations and no sell recommendations from 52 analysts covering the stock.

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