The choppy, back and forth trading across asset classes, which has been the main theme of the week so far, has continued overnight and into this morning. US index futures are up 1.0% to 1.3%, clawing back yesterday’s US index losses of 0.3% to 1.0%. Over in Europe, the Dax is up 2.75% and the FTSE is up 1.25%.
Nothing much has changed in Europe overnight. Fighting continues but remains contained to Ukraine with outside countries providing humanitarian aid, materials and sanctions support. Negotiations in a new deal with Iran that could free up sanctioned oil supply apparently remain in progress as well.
Crude oil had been bouncing back earlier this morning but has started to backslide again, with WTI recently down 0.3% and trading near $105.00/bbl. Gold is down 1.2% and has slipped back under $2,000/oz while Bitcoin is steady sitting below $40,000.
Today’s main scheduled business news event was Canadian employment numbers for February (336K vs street 160K and previous -200K), which rebounded even more than expected and erased the January decline. Wage inflation, however, also accelerated (3.3% vs previous 2.4%). Speaking of inflation, UK inflation expectations have also increased (4.3% vs previous 3.2%).
In terms of monetary news, we have moved into a lull period with investors digesting yesterday’s more hawkish than expected European Central Bank tapering decision, and next week’s Federal Reserve Board meeting where the US central bank is still widely expected to start raising interest rates. The Bank of England and Bank of Japan are also meeting later next week.