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Global stocks record weekly losses

Monday, March 18, 2024

Today’s headlines

What’s happening: US stocks settled lower on Friday, while a gauge of global stocks also ended the day in the red.

What happened: The MSCI World recorded a weekly decline, snapping a seven-week winning streak.

The US dollar notched its best week since mid-January, after the latest inflation report from the US increased speculations of a delay in interest rate cuts.

Why it matters: Global equities came under pressure last week after US inflation data dampened prospects of the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates at its June meeting.

The annual inflation rate in the US accelerated to 3.2% in February, from 3.1% in January, and came in higher than expectations of 3.1%. The core producer price index increased by 2% year-over-year in February, higher than market expectations of a 1.9% increase.

The data increases speculations of the US Federal Reserve delaying interest rate cuts, although a majority of traders continued to believe the central bank will adopt a dovish stance at its June meeting.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s performance versus a basket of major peers, gained 0.08% to 103.45 on Friday. It also added around 0.7% for the week. The yield on the benchmark US 10-year notes surged to its highest level since February 23.

The USD/JPY forex pair gained around 0.5% to 149.08 on Friday, despite prospects of the Bank of Japan ending its negative interest rate policy at this week’s meeting.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index shed 190.89 points, or 0.49%, to settle at 38,714.77, while the S&P 500 fell 0.65% to 5,116.95 and the Nasdaq 100 dipped 1.15% to close at 17,808.25 on Friday. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 0.13%, while the Dow edged lower by 0.02%.

The STOXX Europe 600 Index fell 0.32% to settle at 504.80 on Friday.

The MSCI World, a gauge of global stock markets, fell around 0.65% to 767.62 on Friday, ending in the red for the third consecutive day, its longest streak since the start of 2024.

What to watch: Markets will monitor data on inflation rate and balance of trade from the Eurozone today. Analysts expect Eurozone’s consumer price inflation to ease to 2.6% year-over-year in February, from 2.8% in the prior month. The Eurozone is expected to post a trade surplus of €20.0 billion in January, versus a gap of €16.8 billion in December.

The markets today

The Canadian dollar will be in focus today ahead of a couple of major economic reports

Context: The CAD/USD forex pair fell on Friday, as investors assessed the latest economic data.

Details: Data released on Friday showed wholesale sales in Canada increasing 0.1% to C$82.4 billion in January, after a 0.3% decline in the previous month. The figure was also higher than the preliminary reading of a 0.6% decline.

Housing starts in Canada surged by 14% to 253,468 units in February, higher than market estimates of 230,000 units. Foreign investors increased their investments in Canadian securities by a net $8.88 billion in January, a third straight month of investment.

Strength in the US dollar also exerted pressure on the loonie. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s performance versus a basket of major peers, gained 0.08% to 103.45 on Friday. The index also ended the week with gains.

Weakness in the price of crude oil, one of Canada’s major exports, exerted pressure on the Canadian dollar. WTI crude oil prices declined 22 cents to close at $81.04 per barrel on Friday.

The CAD/USD forex pair fell around 0.1% to 1.3546 on Friday. The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 0.09% to close at 21,849.15, also recording gains for the week.

What to watch: Investors await the release of economic reports on Canada’s producer price inflation and raw materials price index today. Industrial producer prices in Canada are expected to increase by 0.3% in February, following a 0.1% decline in January. Analysts expect the Raw Materials Price Index in Canada to rise 1.8% in February, after a 1.2% rise in January.

Other Markets: European indices closed mostly lower on Friday, with the FTSE 100, DAX 40 and STOXX Europe 600 Index down by 0.20%, 0.03% and 0.32%, respectively, and the CAC 40 up by 0.04%.

The news shaping the markets

Ukraine announced the launch of a new massive wave of drone attacks on Russia. The news sent the RUB/USD lower in forex trading this morning.


China’s unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in February, from 5.2% in the prior month, exerting pressure on the CNY/USD forex pair.


Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports fell 0.1% year-over-year in February. This came in below market expectations of a 4.7% surge and sent the SGD/USD pair lower in forex trading this morning.


New Zealand’s BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index rose to 53 in February, from 52.2 in January. The latest reading signalling the strongest growth in services activity in eleven months lent support to the NZD/USD forex pair.


Colombia’s manufacturing production dipped by 4.3% year-over-year in January, faster than the 3.9% decline recorded in the prior month, which sent the COP/USD pair lower in forex trading this morning.

What else to watch today

Spain’s balance of trade, Brazil’s IBC-Br economic activity index, US NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index, as well as China’s foreign direct investment.


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