Want to receive this post in your inbox every morning? Sign up here
Stocks gain, Barclays warns on commodities, and investors look to Yellen speech. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
European markets set a positive note on their return from a four-day weekend with the Stoxx 600 Index rising 0.3 percent at 10:30 a.m. in London. Overnight, Asian markets were lower as Japan's stocks went ex-dividend. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.3 percent as property developers extended losses on concerns over new price cooling measures in some of the nation's largest cities. S&P 500 futures were little changed ahead of a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. For emerging markets, there is some good news as March is on course to be the best month for EM equities since 2012.
Barclays Plc is cautioning that commodities including copper and oil are at risk of steep declines, saying that an investor rush for the exits could cause prices to tumble. With signs of investors already becoming wary of the recent rally in copper and data showing that the latest oil rally is not gaining fans, there may be something to the warning. Oil was trading 68 cents lower at $38.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:50 a.m. London time.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen will address the Economic Club of New York today, with her speech expected to start at 12:20 ET. The dollar was strengthening ahead of Yellen's remarks, but give up those gains to trade broadly flat following comments from Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams at an event in Singapore where he repeated that the central bank will raise interest rates at a gradual pace.
The dollar snapped a six-day rally yesterday after data showed personal spending and Core PCE inflation barely increased in February. The latter data point is seen as the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation. In Europe, a similar problem exists ahead of the start of the latest round of quantitative easing this week as expectations point to inflation remaining below zero in March. This has not stopped BlackRock Inc. joining Pacific Investment Management Co. in recommending that now is the time to seek inflation hedges. Stabilizing oil prices and a tightening labor market will contribute to rising inflation, they say.
Apple case dropped
It's happened to us all. You finally crack your iPhone, and there's just no need for that new case anymore. U.S. prosecutors have dropped their legal case after cracking the security on the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorist. While this may be a victory for Apple inasmuch as they did not cede to the FBI's demands, it does show that the iPhone has some security flaws.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Odd Lots Podcast: The fraught life of the (dumpster-diving, chicken-farming) American short seller.
- The spectacular 176 percent surge of a debt-laden apparel maker's stock.
- The credit card loophole that gets around China's capital curbs.
- Rousseff's likely successor has his own legal problems.
- Lenders 'freak out' at London luxury home woes, hike loan costs.
- Japan's jobs data shows the rise of part-timers.
- Arctic sea ice shrinks to lowest on record after 'crazy' winter.