As markets roared back life, it felt like investors shrugged off the threat of rising Treasury Yields with the “buy the dip” theme in full force. This was reflected in the FTSE100, STOXX Europe 50, S&P 500, and especially the Nasdaq 100 which soared back above its 50-day simple moving average.
However, the rally across global stocks was short-lived with equity bears making an unwelcome return as the bond market selloff left investors jittery.
In our technical outlook, we covered the EURUSD and questioned the likelihood of prices breaching the 1.20 support level. An appreciating dollar eventually dragged the currency pair lower with prices trading around 1.1923 as of writing.
It was a big week for oil markets due to the OPEC+ announcement on its output decision. Buying sentiment towards the commodity jumped after OPEC and Russia decided against injecting more crude oil into the markets. The decision to keep the powder dry in the face of persistent uncertainty elevated oil prices more than 5% higher on Thursday.
With Saudi Arabia also maintaining its voluntary extra cut of 1 million barrels per day for another month, the supply-side dynamics remain in favour of bulls.
Let us not forget about Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s appearance at a Wall Street Journal summit on Thursday.
“Investors who were expecting Powell to soothe concerns over the bond market drama were left empty-handed after he simply dropped a gentle word of caution.”
It was another painful week for gold thanks to an appreciating dollar and rising US bond yields. As markets became increasingly jittery about the prospects of economic growth leading to higher inflation, this massaged expectations around the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Given gold’s zero yielding nature, this development offered nothing but bad news.
On Friday, a sense of optimism swept across financial markets after US payrolls smashed market expectations.
“The US economy added 379,000 jobs in February, blowing out expectations for a 200,000 gain. January’s figure also was revised, from 49,000 to 166,000.”
In regards to the unemployment rate, this remained unchanged at 6.3% while average hourly earnings m/m hit the 0.2% forecasts.
Overall, this is an encouraging jobs report that will most likely fuel expectations around the US economy rebounding faster than expected.
“The key question is whether this goods news is actually bad news for markets?”
Treasury yields are already pushing higher, surpassing the February 26th peak – ultimately weighing on US equity futures. If yields continue to rise in the week ahead, stock markets could be instore for another rough and rocky ride downhill.
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