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Russia’s defence ministry claimed to have destroyed a military plant outside Kyiv, which sent the WTI crude oil prices higher this morning.
China’s economy grew 4.8% year-over-year in the March quarter, compared to a 4.0% expansion in the prior period. However, the CNY/USD forex pair remained under pressure following the news.
Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports rose 7.7% year-over-year in March, slowing from 9.4% growth in the prior month, which sent the SGD/USD pair lower in forex trading this morning.
China’s retail trade fell by 3.5% year-over-year in March, missing market estimates of a 1.6% decline, which exerted pressure on the Shanghai Composite index.
Israel’s annual inflation rate came in at 3.5% in March, compared to market expectations of 3.8%. The ILS/USD forex pair remained flat this morning.
What’s happening: European stocks closed higher on Thursday, following policy announcements from the European Central Bank.
What happened: The ECB kept its monetary policy unchanged and held its interest rate at record lows despite spiking inflation.
However, the common bloc’s central bank confirmed plans to end its asset purchase program.
Why it matters: While holding its benchmark rate at 0%, the ECB announced plans to end its bond buying program in the third quarter. The region’s central bank is projected to begin raising interest rates only after the completion of its asset buying program, while the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England have already begun rate hikes.
The ECB’s Governing Council also indicated that any rate hikes “will be gradual.”
Investor sentiment was also lifted by the US President Joe Biden announcing another $800 million in military aid for Ukraine, following a call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Meanwhile, the UK approved the sixth covid-19 vaccine as the country’s health regulator issued an approval to French company Valneva’s vaccine.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.67% to close at 459.82 on Thursday, with travel and leisure stocks leading the surge. However, technology stocks bucked the overall market trend, declining around 0.5%. London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.47%, while CAC 40 added 0.72%.
The German DAX 40 gained 0.6% on Thursday. On the week, the DAX added 0.5%, while the STOXX 600 gained around 1.1%. Trading in the European markets will resume on Tuesday, after Easter celebrations.
What to watch: With European markets closed today for Easter Monday today, investors will keep an eye on the developments surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war.
European investors await economic reports on industrial production and balance of trade due to be released on Wednesday.
Context: The CAD/USD pair moved slightly lower following a rise in bond yields.
Details: The US dollar traded higher, recording gains versus a basket of major peers, on Thursday, following the policy decision by the European Central Bank to keep rates unchanged.
The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s performance versus a basket of major currencies, gained around 0.2% to 100.50 on Friday.
“The tone of the market changed completely after the ECB rate announcement. We have also seen some underperformance of U.S. bonds, which is also lending support to the greenback, along with a more cautious tone for risk sentiment,” RBC Capital Markets analyst George Davis said in a note to clients.
On the economic data front, wholesale trade fell 0.4% from the prior month to C$78.8 billion in February, versus market expectations of 0.9% growth. Manufacturing sales in Canada surged 4.2% from a month ago to C$67.7 billion in February.
The price of crude oil, one of Canada’s major exports, gained 2.2% to close at $106.54 per barrel.
The loonie had surged to its highest intraday level since April 6, after the Bank of Canada
boosted rates by half a percentage point on Wednesday. The CAD/USD forex pair fell around 0.1% to 1.2613 on Friday.
What to watch: Traders await the release of ADP employment data from Canada today. Employment in Canada, which rose by a record high of 475,000 in February, is expected to increase by another 210,000 in March.
Investors will also keep an eye on the Russia-Ukraine situation and rising covid-19 cases in some parts of the world.
Other Markets: US indices closed lower on Thursday, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 down by 0.33%, 1.21% and 2.28%, respectively.
|Technical Levels||News Sentiment|
|EUR/USD – 1.0794 and 1.0806||Positive|
|GBP/USD – 1.3033 and 1.3046||Positive|
|EUR/GBP – 0.8280 and 0.8283||Negative|
|CAC 40 – 6593.20 and 6608.01||Positive|
|DAX 40 – 14158.51 and 14187.46||Negative|
India’s wholesale price inflation rate, Spain’s balance of trade, Brazil’s IBC-Br index of economic activity and Central Bank of Brazil’s focus market readout, as well as US NAHB housing market index.