Week Ending Mar 21 2014 Market and Economic Update.
As the week draws to an end the main news is still surrounding the situation in Crimea and how the west plans to implement further sanctions. As it stands the EU and the US have placed visa restrictions on several high profile Russians close to Vladimir Putin and who are deemed responsible for the hostilities within the region. This along with the freezing of overseas assets and sanctions imposed on Russian bank Rossiya; has not been seen as strong enough by several members of the EU who see Russia closing in on their borders. Threats of further economic sanctions have been heard all week and Moscow has already retaliated by placing its own travel restrictions on US members of government. With the EU split as to what further sanctions can be implemented and until further agreements can be made ensuring the West is satisfied that Moscow has listened, there will remain uncertainty in the air.
The expected affects on the markets however, have been surprisingly small.
More attention was paid to the first statement from Ms. Yellen, the new chair at the Federal Reserve. As they embark on a two day meeting before the announcement of their economic and monetary policy outlook the markets will wait with baited breath. Even after confirmation that rates should be adjusted in early 2015 and the news that US Consumer Price Index rose just 0.1% along with the Core Consumer Price Index at the same rate; the major indexes were very cautious and this along with the general concern about global economics saw the markets as a whole relatively flat. Asia markets started out the last day of the weak in negative territory and this looks to continue. Futures in both Europe and the US are expected to start the day down and it is anticipated that they will remain unsteady until further decisions are made regarding Crimea and the Fed releases its data.
Major Indexes as of 21st March:
Index % Change Close/
DOW Jones (+0.67%) 16,331.05
NASDAQ (+0.27%) 4,319.29
FTSE 100 (-0.47%)
CAC 40 (+0.46%) 4,327.91
Nikkei 225 (-1.65%) 14,224.23
Hang Seng (+0.28%)
Commodities have reversed the gains posted last week even on positive news out of the US. As with the markets there has been very little speculation and relatively low volumes being traded as an outcome and further news is set to become apparent this weekend. Previously expected to be on a bull run precious metals have again surprised with their conservative trading. Having reached a 6mth high earlier in the week of $1,377.00 per oz Gold closed trading on Thursday at $1,327.00 down almost 1% and in early trading on Friday Asian activity hasn't pushed the metal much further beyond $1,334.50 (+0.30%). Gold's partner, Silver has seen a sharp decline this week. Almost 9% down over the course of the last month there is speculation that further manipulation is being carried out due to the rumoured shortage the sector is facing. Closing at $20.17 (-2.8%) on Thursday the metal is seeing very little volume and is expected to remain flat to close out the week.
Commodity Prices as of 21st March:
Brent Crude (-0.10%) $105.98
WTI Crude (+0.60%)
Comex Gold (-0.80%) $1,327.00
Comex Silver (-2.80%)
As with last week we are again waiting for positive data out of the US and some kind of resolution in Crimea. Along with the growing concern over the issues in Turkey the whole of Eastern Europe and North Africa are causing continued concerns regarding their impacts on the global economy. The usual safe-havens of precious metals and oil appear to be being ignored as investors hold on to their cash before making further decisions. This weekend should hopefully shed some light on what is happening and it is expected that there will be more money entering the markets once a way forward is seen.
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