MAJOR EVENTS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK THAT YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING:
|Monday, March 30, 2015|
|USD||Pending Home Sales (MoM)|
|Tuesday, March 31, 2015|
|GBP||GDP (QoQ) (Q4)|
|EUR||CPI (YoY) (Mar)|
|USD||CB Consumer Confidence|
|Wednesday, April 1, 2015|
|JPY||Tankan Large Manufacturers|
|CNY||Manufacturing PMI (Mar)|
|CNY||HSBC Manufacturing PMI|
|EUR||German Manufacturing PM|
|GBP||Manufacturing PMI (Mar)|
|USD||ADP Nonfarm Employment|
|USD||ISM Manufacturing PMI|
|Thursday, April 2, 2015|
|GBP||Construction PMI (Mar)|
|Friday, April 3, 2015|
|USD||Nonfarm Payrolls (Mar)|
Wall Street moved to end slightly higher Friday, but still recorded sharp losses for the week. Investors assessed a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who said that she expects economic conditions may warrant gradual rate hikes this year.
Yellen, who spoke at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Conference just before the closing bell, said that despite the likely move upward for interest rates this year, the central bank will move cautiously. The Fed chief asserted that the Fed would keep rates on hold if there were further weakening in key inflation indicators.
At the closing bell in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 35 points at 17,713, while the NASDAQ gained 28 points to close at 4,891 and the S&P 500 rose 5 points to settle at 2,061. All three major indexes still recorded losses of over 2% for the week, after Wall Street dropped for a fourth straight session on Thursday.
European markets finished mixed today, with stocks ending their weekly win streak. Asian markets closed mostly lower, with Japan’s Nikkei settling down 0.95% as lower oil prices and subdued consumer demand have pushed the country to the brink of deflation.
In corporate activity, BlackBerry shares rose almost 2% after it swung to a surprise fourth quarter profit, but revenue was far below forecasts as sales from services exceeded hardware sales.
The dollar edged lower against a basket of major currencies on Friday after traders were reluctant to buy the greenback ahead of U.S. jobs data next week and after comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The bullish US dollar sentiment has been fading this week, after the March FOMC statement release and press conference gave a dovish impression. The recent US stock market uncertainty and risk adverse sentiment may boost Nikkei and USDJPY selling. The better US data may encourage USDJPY buying to touch near 120 USDJPY tentatively.
Ahead of Yellen’s speech, investors focused on Friday’s government data, which included the final reading of fourth quarter GDP figures. Fourth quarter GDP remained unchanged at a 2.2% annual growth rate. Economists had expected an upward revision to 2.4%. The report also revealed that quarterly corporate profits over the same period fell for the first time since 2008.
The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March also came in at 93.0, higher than consensus expectations and up from the mid-month reading of 91.2, but a drop from February’s 95.4 reading. The euro was last up slightly against the dollar at $1.08910 . The dollar was last down slightly against the yen at 119.150 yen. The dollar was last down 0.12 percent against the franc at 0.96180 franc.
Oil prices were lower Friday, reversing sharp gains from Thursday, even as the Yemen conflict escalated. West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May settled at $48.87 a barrel, down 5% on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract still gained about 5% for the week.
Gold f shed 0.4% to settle at $1,199.80 an ounce on the Comex, breaking a seven-session stretch of gains.