22.03 – Investors rush for safe havens
- by Roger Gain
Markets sentiment turns negative on Wednesday.
Here are 4 tips for today's trading. This will help you decide where you should invest and what to look for:
1. USD/JPY trading at 4-month lows
The dollar plunged to 4-month lows against the JPY, as investor doubts mounted over the Trump administration’s ability to push through the pro-growth economic agenda promised by the president.
Investors viewed the Trump administration's struggles to push through a healthcare overhaul as a sign he may also face setbacks delivering on corporate tax cuts, regulatory reform and infrastructure spending.
The dollar had already come under pressure in recent sessions after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates last week and reiterated that the future pace of rate hikes would be gradual, disappointing dollar bulls had hoped for an accelerated pace of monetary tightening.
The dollar has also been pressured lower by the stronger euro as expectations for monetary tightening by the European Central Bank later this year and a more positive outlook for the French presidential elections boosted the single currency.
2. Global markets turns lower
European markets opened sharply lower - a day after Wall Street had its worst day so far this year amid growing fears over Trumps ability to deliver on his growth boosting policy pledges.
London’s FTSE 100 was down 1%, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC were both down around 0.8%. U.S. stock futures also pointed to a lower open.
Earlier, in Asia, markets posted their largest drop in two weeks, with Japan's Nikkei leading losers, closing down 2.13%, as investors shrugged off data showing that exports rose by the most in two years in February.
3. Oil prices fall amid over supply
Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a report from industry group the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday showed that U.S. crude stocks rose by 4.5 million barrels last week.
The data added to concerns that rising U.S. production is undermining efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output and support the market.
U.S. crude was down 67 cents, or about 1.39%, to $47.55 a barrel, while International benchmark Brent crude fell by 73 cents to $50.24.
Official U.S. Energy Information Administration oil inventory data is due out at 15:30 GMT.
4. U.S. economics updates
In a data light day, the National Association of Realtors is to release data on U.S. existing home sales for February at 15:00 GMT.
Investors will be waiting to see whether a recent increase in consumer spending and inflation is translating into higher home prices and a pick-up in home sales.
Analysts have forecast a decline of 1.8% to 5.57 million, following a gain of 3.3% a month earlier.
Meanwhile, U.S. bond yields hit the lowest level in three week as heightened risk aversion prompted investors to dump risky assets and seek out safe havens such as government debt.
The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year treasuries - an indicator of how much it costs the government to borrow from the financial markets - fell to 2.4%.
Yields on two-year U.S. treasuries fell to 1.27% overnight, retreating further from a seven-and-a-half year high of 1.38% hit last Wednesday when the Fed hiked interest rates.