March appears to be going out like a lion in commodity markets, particularly energy contracts where WTI crude oi lis down 6.2%, Brent crude is down 5.6%, gasoline is down 4.2% and natural gas is down 1.8%. There haven’t been any new developments in Ukraine overnight but reports in the media suggesting President Biden may be preparing to release oil from US strategic reserves to cool the market have been making the rounds. These rumours come as OPEC+ made no changes to production beyond its usual 400,000 bbl/d monthly increase continuing its production restoration program as is.
March appears to be going out like a lamb in equity markets. US index futures are trading between flat to a gain of 0.3% for NASDAQ futures. Over in Europe, the FTSE and Dax are down 0.2%-0.3%. Cryptocurrencies are picking up as well, indicating improving sentiment, with Bitcoin up 1.0% and Ethereum up 1.5%.
Inflation fears appear to be easing a bit today as the US 10-year treasury note yield continues to slide back toward 2.30%. In addition to this week’s energy price declines, today’s US monthly core PCE inflation report (one of the Fed’s favourite measures), did not increase quite as much as feared (6.4% vs street 6.7% and previous 6.0%).
Monthly PMI reports out of China suggest that recent COVID lockdowns may be having a negative impact on the economy with both Manufacturing (49.5 vs street 49.9 and previous 50.2) and Service (48.4 vs street 53.2 and previous 51.6) PMIs for March falling back under 50 into contraction territory. The US Chicago PMI report is due at 9:45 am EDT (street 57.0 vs previous 56.3) followed by Manufacturing PMI reports from around the world and US nonfarm payrolls tomorrow morning.
SIA Wealth In The Media:
Chief Market Strategist Colin Cieszynski appeared on BNN Bloomberg today where he discussed volatility in current market trends, tactical rotation, risk management, and relative strength.
Investors should be tactical in this market: Colin Cieszynski