Friday saw US equities lose ground as risk off sentiment dominated the day, the DJIA lost 1.05%, the S&P 500 lost 0.85% and the NASDAQ-100 lost 0.37%. The USD Index, which tracks the performance of the USD against a basket of currencies, enjoyed the risk off sentiment as funds fled to the safety of the USD, driving the green back higher across the board, while gold followed suit, making new weekly highs. Crude, also posted gains last week as oversupply concerns begin to disappear as markets remain optimistic of a supply cap agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers.
The NIKKEI 225, gained 0.1% in choppy trade in which rumours of a postponement of the imminent sales tax hike initially weakened the JPY and strengthening the index as exporters gained ground. The rumours were however squashed and the JPY regained its composure as exporters lost ground and the index gave back its early gains. The ASX 200 gained 0.7%, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.2% as poor Retail Sales, Industrial Production and Lending figures missed estimates sparking increased hopes of further intervention by the Peoples Bank of China.
Major economic data being released today is as follows:
- Empire State Manufacturing Index expected at 7.2
- NAHB Housing Market Index expected at 59
- TIC Long-Term Purchases expected at 36.5B
- Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
- Inflation Expectations q/q previously at 1.6%