March 23, 2017

Time (GMT) Currency Event Previous Forecast
09:00 EUR ECB Economic Bulletin
09:30 GBP Retail Sales m/m -0.3% 0.4%
12:30 USD Unemployment Claims 241K 240K
12:45 USD Fed Chair Yellen Speaks
14:00 USD New Home Sales 555K 566K


Global Commentary

Asian markets took a sharp turn lower on Wednesday, pressured by the overnight weakness on Wall Street and a negative investors sentiment that has been caused by doubts over United States’ President Trump’s ability to get the tax cuts and infrastructure spending he has promised.  The Nikkei in Japan had the worst losses in the region, falling by 2.13% as it also faced downside pressure from a stronger Yen.  In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 suffered a loss of 1.56% as falling raw commodity prices weighed on the mining stocks, while the banking shares fell broadly as well.  Mainland China saw its Shanghai Composite fall for the first time this week, registering a loss of 0.50% as weakness from across the region hurt Chinese shares.  In Hong Kong the Hang Seng following the mainland’s lead and lost 1.11% for the day.  South Korea’s Kospi had the smallest loss of the day among major Asian markets, ending with a 0.46% loss, and in Singapore the Straits Times Index ended the day 1.28% lower.  Markets in Europe fell broadly on Wednesday as investors worried about the plausibility of planned infrastructure spending and tax cuts in the U.S.  The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 ended the day at a one week low as it fell 0.44%, with the German DAX losing 0.48% and the CAC 40 in France off by 0.15%.  Investors in London also had worries about U.S. spending and tax cuts, and were still reacting to the unexpectedly high U.K. inflation rate released the previous day, and this led the FTSE to a 0.73% loss for the day.  U.S. markets ended mixed on Wednesday as they bounced back from the worst loss of 2017 that was suffered in the previous session.  At the close the S&P 500 was higher by 0.19%, the Dow edged lower by 0.03%, and the Nasdaq outperformed with a 0.48% gain.



EUR – The Euro fell broadly on Wednesday, weakening against all the major rival currencies.

GBP – The Pound was mixed on Wednesday as it firmed against the Euro, but fell versus the Yen while ending the session unchanged versus the USD.

USD – The USD was mixed on Wednesday, firming against the Euro, unchanged versus the Pound, and once again weaker versus the Yen.

JPY – The Yen continued to strengthen on Wednesday, firming broadly against rival currencies as risk appetite remained weak among traders.

TRY – The Turkish Lira firmed modestly against most currencies on Wednesday, but was slightly weaker versus the Yen.

RUB – The Ruble softened broadly for a second consecutive session on Wednesday as traders worry that falling crude prices will negatively impact the Russian economy.



Metals – Precious metals ended mixed Wednesday, but gold notched its fifth straight gain as risk appetite remains low among investors.  April gold added $3.20, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,249.70 an ounce.  May silver was off $0.005, or less than 0.05%, finishing at $17.578 an ounce.

Oil – Crude fell again on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Agency reported a 5 million barrel rise in crude inventory levels, but losses were muted as gasoline inventories fell more than expected.  May West Texas Intermediate crude declined $0.20, or 0.4%, to settle at $48.04 a barrel.



S&P500 – The S&P started the day in negative territory, but was able to trade back into the green by mid-morning.  The index dropped back to test the unchanged line for support several times during the remainder of the session, but finally ended the day 0.19% higher as investors were able to put aside the weakness from the previous session.

DAX – The DAX fell right at the open Wednesday as investor sentiment remained negative for a second day following the worst performance of 2017 for U.S. stocks in the previous session.  While the German benchmark index crept higher throughout the day it was still lower by 0.48% at the close as banking shares weighed on the broader market.

Nikkei – The Nikkei opened deep in negative territory as the overnight strength of the Yen and the overnight weakness on Wall Street combined to drive Japanese equities lower.  The market remained at session lows throughout the day, edging slowly lower and losing 2.13% as the Nikkei finally found support at the end of the day at the 19,000 level.


Amazon – Shares of the internet retailer gained on Wednesday as it continues to bump around the $850 level without being able to bust through the resistance at that level.  The gain on Wednesday took the stock to $848.06 a share, giving investors hopes that the stock will be able to power higher and finally break through the $850 level soon.  That level has held as resistance for the stock for the past four weeks as equities have been drifting sideways due to a lack of risk appetite from investors.  Once past the $850 a share level Amazon will be at record levels and in uncharted territory, so it’s uncertain how high it could go, but some analysts are watching the $1,000 a share level as a possible target later this year.

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