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Oil tanks, Japanese trade data due out, and the Fed’s Fischer blesses the global recovery. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate futures suffered their worst decline since March 8 on Wednesday, coming within a dime of breaching $50 per barrel. Weekly data showing output at its highest level since August 2015, coupled with an unexpected expansion of gasoline stockpiles, fueled the sharp retreat. The crude carnage cast a further pall on the reflation trade, with two-year market-based measures of inflation expectations plummeting.
America Has the Meats
At 8:50 a.m. comes the release of Japan’s March trade balance, with the consensus estimate calling for monthly surplus to shrink to $608 billion yen from $813.5 billion. Annual export growth is forecast to slip to a rate of 6.2 percent from 11.3 percent in February, while import growth is projected to ramp up to 10 percent year-on-year from 1.2 percent. One big change in Japanese trade this year? Its source of foreign meat. American beef exports to Japan are expected to best Australia in 2017, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Speaking with business leaders in Tokyo, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said his country is seeking more balanced trading ties with the island nation. Also on deck for Japan: international securities transactions for the week ending Apr. 14.
Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer expressed optimism in the global economic recovery, saying “foreign output expansions appear more entrenched.” Gradual rate hikes from the Fed will help reduce the chance of harmful global spillovers, he added. The central bank’s Beige Book, meanwhile, indicated that the U.S. economy continued to expand at a steady pace, though the Atlanta Fed’s nowcast for the first quarter suggests growth fell to a pace of 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter.
Markets Drift Lower
The S&P 500 index closed down 0.2 percent, with weakness in energy shares offsetting a relatively strong set of corporate earnings reports. Morgan Stanley gained 2 percent after showing that its trading revenue in fixed income, currencies, and commodities almost doubled in the first quarter to surpass that of Goldman Sachs. The U.S. dollar was the best-performing G10 currency, while Treasury yields also rose Wednesday.
The yen fell versus most non-petrocurrencies in the G10, but Nikkei 225 futures are nonetheless trading lower as of 5:30 a.m. S&P/ASX 200 futures are also in negative territory ahead of the open after most benchmark indexes in the Asia Pacific region ended the previous session in the red.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
‘Warning signs are getting darker,’ says BlackRock’s Fink.
ETFs are making stock markets dumber.
The French election has a certain je ne sais quoi, say pollsters.
Iron ore is tumbling—but the Australian dollar isn’t.
Bond shorts are getting squeezed.
- Throw out your FX textbooks if Trump pursues a border adjustment tax.
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