By Margaret Yang
Last week, global markets rallied together with commodities as the Fed decided to hold back on rate hikes. The US dollar collapsed against its major peers. Crude oil extended its rally on hopes that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC and non-OPEC countries (representing over 70% of global oil output) will come out with a plan to freeze output in April.
The Nikkei was down due to a stronger yen and disappointment following the BOJ’s decision to keep its policy rate unchanged. The Chinese market led the rebound of emerging markets, with the Shanghai composite registering a weekly gain of 5.15%. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng Index climbed 3.44% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up 1.74% last week, closing at three-months high.
JPY strengthened 2.19% against USD to 111.54, its strongest level over the past 16 months. The euro gained 1.17% against USD last week, despite the ECB expanding its asset-purchasing plan and cutting rates by another 10 bps earlier in the week.
Global markets’ weekly performance (14– 18 March)
What happened last week:
- The BOJ kept its policy rate and monetary base unchanged
- The Fed decided against a rate hike in March and, the Dollar index collapsed
- Saudi Arabia and OPEC members will gather in April to discuss an output freeze. Iran is excluded.
- The PBOC governor expressed concerns about the country’s rising debt-to-GDP ratio, and he encouraged corporations to increase equity financing and reduce reliance on debt.
Events this week:
- Monday, March 21: US Existing Home Sales
- Tuesday, March 22: Japan All Industry Activity Index; UK Consumer Price Index.
- Wednesday, March 23: US DOE Crude Oil Inventories.
- Thursday, March 24: New Zealand trade balance; Japan PMI; US Durable Goods Order.
- Friday, March 25 (Good Friday): Japan Consumer Price Index.
Margaret Yang Yan, CFA, is a market analyst for CMC Markets Singapore.