By Margaret Yang
Last week, global equity markets closed lower as crude oil failed to stay above $40 and talks about an April rate hike returned after US core inflation hit 2.3%. The US dollar Index rose 5 consecutive days with a weekly gain of 1.6%. Gold fell sharply to $1,216, registering a weekly loss of 3%. USD/JPY retraced to 113.0, helping to push Nikkei Index up above the 17,000 level. US 10 year treasury yields traded around the 1.9% area, sending mixed signals. Asian equities including Taiwan, Australia and Singapore closed lower but Japan and China were up.
US DOE weekly crude inventories showed no sign of weakness, climbing by 1.79% to 532.535m barrels from 523.178m barrels a week ago. This, together with a stronger US dollar, sent oil prices lower.
Last Friday (25 March), the Shanghai government unexpectedly rolled out property cooling measures aiming to suppress the overheating property markets. On the same day, some other cities such as Shenzhen and Wuhan followed Shanghai to announce cooling measures tailored to their own circumstances. This happened on the backdrop of soaring property prices in China's tier 1 and tier 2 cities after the collapse of the stock market in the 2nd half 2015. The rally was led by Shenzhen, where property prices have soared 56% year on year despite slower economic growth.
Global market weekly performance (21 - 25 March)
Events this week:
- Monday, March 28: US Personal Consumption Expenditure
- Tuesday, March 29: Japan Jobless rate; US Consumer Confidence
- Wednesday, March 30: Japan Industrial Production; German CPI
- Thursday, March 31:German Unemployment rate; Euro zone CPI
- Friday, April 1: China Manufacturing PMI; US Unemployment Rate & Non-farm Payrolls
Margaret Yang Yan, CFA, is a market analyst for CMC Markets Singapore.