Saturday, 23 March, 2019


Stock markets across Asia drop on concerns surrounding global growth

European shares pull back ahead of ECB meeting ECB sees interest rates unchanged at least through 2019
Conrad Doyle | 10 March, 2019, 19:15

Today could be an interesting day for the Pound to US Dollar (GBP/USD) and Pound to Canadian Dollar (GBP/CAD) exchange rates with a host of highly influential labour market data being revealed across the pond.

The worries knocked European stock markets lower where the STOXX 600 index suffered its biggest daily percentage drop in a month and worst week this year.

European auto and financial stocks were at the forefront, both sectors slipping almost 2 percent. The pressure looked to continue on Wall Street, with S&P 500 E-Mini futures easing 0.4 percent. Financials also nursed losses for a second day after the European Central Bank cut its growth forecasts and pushed out an interest-rate hike.

Much of the greenback's weekly rise stemmed from a dramatic sell-off in the euro on Thursday when the ECB offered a fresh round of cheap loans to banks and pushed back any plan to raise rates into 2020.

There was also scepticism that the European Central Bank would be able revive inflation toward its near two-percent target long-term, with a key measure of inflation expectations in the currency bloc hitting a two-week low on Friday.

The reversal came in the same week that Canada's central bank took a sudden dovish turn and dismal data from Australia to the United Kingdom instilled a sense of foreboding in markets.

ECB President Mario Draghi said that, unusually, the central bank had not changed its assessment that risks were balanced to the downside despite the policy changes.

"Our initial take is these developments are pressing down on market confidence, seen in lower bond yields and equities".

Traders sold the dollar a bit more early Friday after a measly 20,000-job increase in domestic payrolls last month, far fewer than 180,000 forecast among analysts polled by Reuters.

The dollar fell against most major currencies on Friday as data showed US employers hired far fewer workers than forecast in February, while the euro rebounded from a 20-month low tied to the European Central Bank's dovish shift the day before.

USA 10-year Treasury yields hit a fresh two week low 2.627%. The US Unemployment rate is also pegged to fall, from 4.00% to 3.90%.

In commodity markets, oil prices eased as US crude output and exports climbed to record highs, undermining efforts by producer club OPEC to tighten global markets.

USA crude was last down 35 cents at $56.31 a barrel, while Brent crude fell 49 cents to $65.81. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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