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Trends & Analysis
News

Gold continues to shine amid geopolitical worries

News

Crude oil dips for 3rd session after supply data

News

Is there an AI upside for AMD?

News

GBP/USD recovers following wage report

News

Buy the JPMorgan dip?

News

Goldman Sachs shares surge after earnings beat

Trends & Analysis
News

Gold continues to shine amid geopolitical worries

News

Crude oil dips for 3rd session after supply data

News

Is there an AI upside for AMD?

News

GBP/USD recovers following wage report

News

Buy the JPMorgan dip?

News

Goldman Sachs shares surge after earnings beat

News

Crude oil slides, but ends February with gains

Friday, March 01, 2024

Today’s headlines

What’s happening: Crude oil prices edged lower on Thursday but recording gains for the month of February amid geopolitical tensions.

What happened: Oil remained under pressure through the trading day with data released the previous day showing an increase in US crude inventories.

However, crude oil recorded the second consecutive monthly gain with US inflation data fuelling speculations of a delay in interest rate cuts.

Why it matters: Brent crude has been trading above the $80 level for three weeks amid rising geopolitical concerns.

The EIA (Energy Information Administration) said on Wednesday that US commercial crude inventories had risen by 4.2 million barrels to 447.3 million barrels in the week ended February 23. This was the five straight week of growth in US crude supplies.

Data released also showed weekly gasoline supplies falling 2.8 million barrels and distillates supplies declining 500,000 barrels last week.

The EIA’s data released on Thursday showed a decline in US natural gas supplies by 96 billion cubic feet in the week ended February 23, compared to market expectations of 90 billion cubic feet.

The US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, which is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, showed inflation in January coming in line with market expectations, raising prospects of a June rate cut by the US central bank.

The Eurozone’s inflation rate eased further, strengthening prospects of the ECB beginning to cut interest rates later this year.

WTI crude oil for April delivery slipped 28 cents to close at $78.26 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange). However, WTI ended the month with gains of around 3.2%.

April Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 6 cents to settle at $83.62 per barrel on ICE Futures Europe, gaining about 2.3% in February.

In other energy trading, March gasoline gained 3 cents to $2.30 a gallon, notching a monthly gain of 5.5%. March heating oil added 2 cents to $2.68 a gallon, falling 4.4% in the month, while natural gas for April delivery declined 3 cents to $1.86 per million British thermal units, recording a monthly decline of 11.4%.

What to watch: Investors await the release of economic data on Baker Hughes crude oil rigs today. Crude oil rigs in the US rose to 503 in the February 23 week, compared to 497 in the prior week.

The markets today

Dell Technologies Inc. will be in focus today after releasing results for the fourth quarter

Context: Shares of Dell rose sharply in after-hours trading on Thursday, following better-than-expected quarterly results.

Details: With elevated AI investments, Dell’s servers and networking revenues rose to $4.9 billion in the latest quarter. There were also some signs of recovery in the company’s major PC market, following the slowdown in 2022 after sales hit a peak during the pandemic.

Dell’s overall quarterly sales contracted by 11% to $22.3 billion but topped the consensus estimates of $22.16 billion. Adjusted earnings came in at $2.20 per share, exceeding Wall Street expectations of $1.73 per share.

The Round Rock, Texas-based company also announced a 20% hike in its annual cash dividend to $1.78 per share.

“Our strong AI-optimized server momentum continues, with orders increasing nearly 40% sequentially and backlog nearly doubling, exiting our fiscal year at $2.9 billion,” COO Jeff Clarke said during the earnings call. “We’ve just started to touch the AI opportunities ahead of us, and we believe Dell is uniquely positioned with our broad portfolio to help customers build GenAI solutions that meet performance, cost and security requirements.”

The company also issued upbeat annual revenue and profit guidance on Thursday. For the current fiscal year, Dell guided to revenues of $91 billion to $95 billion and adjusted earnings of $7.50 per share, higher than the consensus estimate of $7.15 per share.

How shares responded: Dell’s shares jumped 19.3% to $112.95 in extended trading on Thursday, following the release of quarterly results. The stock has added around 27% year to date.

What to watch: Investors will continue monitoring rising demand for AI servers and the recovery in the PC market.

Other Markets: European indices closed mostly higher on Thursday, with FTSE 100, DAX 40 and STOXX Europe 600 Index up by 0.07%, 0.44% and 0.01%, respectively, and CAC 40 down by 0.34%.

The news shaping the markets

Russia’s Vladimir Putin accused Western nations of creating the environment for a global nuclear war. The news sent the RUB/USD pair slightly higher in forex trading this morning.


China’s official NBS manufacturing PMI fell to 49.1 in February, from 49.2 in the prior month. However, the country’s factory activity contracting for the fifth straight month exerted pressure on the CNY/USD forex pair.


Thailand’s S&P Global manufacturing PMI declined to 45.3 in February, from 46.7 in the prior month. This being the seventh consecutive month of contraction sent the THB/USD pair lower in forex trading this morning.


Japan’s Jibun Bank manufacturing PMI fell to 47.2 in February, from 48.0 in January. The country’s factory activity deteriorated for the ninth month in a row and exerted pressure on the JPY/USD forex pair.


South Korea recorded a trade surplus of $4.3 billion in February, versus a year-ago deficit of $5.38 billion, which sent the KRW/USD pair higher in forex trading this morning.

What else to watch today

Russia’s manufacturing PMI and money supply M2, Türkiye’s manufacturing PMI, UK’s Nationwide housing prices and manufacturing PMI, Spain’s manufacturing PMI and new passenger vehicles sales, Italy’s manufacturing PMI, new passenger car registrations, GDP growth, inflation rate, government budget and unemployment rate, France’s manufacturing PMI, Germany’s manufacturing PMI, Eurozone’s manufacturing PMI, jobless rate and inflation rate, South Africa’s manufacturing PMI, Mexico’s foreign exchange reserves, manufacturing PMI and business confidence indicator, India’s foreign exchange reserves, Brazil’s GDP growth rate and manufacturing PMI, Canada’s manufacturing PMI, US manufacturing PMI, University of Michigan consumer sentiment, construction spending, ISM manufacturing PMI, as well as South Africa’s total vehicle sales.


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