Hawkish comments from two Fed members over the weekend give a firm US Dollar at the week’s open, but stock markets also look firmer.
- Two members of the US Federal Reserve, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, indicated in remarks over the weekend that they would consider a rate hike of 0.50% instead of the expected 0.25% at the Fed’s next meeting in March.
- The US Dollar continues to be strong, as markets are becoming more firmly convinced that the Dollar will reach a higher terminal rate above 5.25%. The greenback last week reached a 6-week high price. In the Forex market, the Australian Dollar is the strongest currency right now, while the Swiss Franc is the weakest.
- The S&P 500 Index made a golden cross the week before last. This is typically a strong long-term buy signal, although the price has fallen since then. However, stock markets generally are a bit higher since this week’s open, especially the Hang Seng Index.
- Kazue Ueda is scheduled to replace Haruhiko Kuroda as the new Governor of the Bank of Japan. He will be testifying before the Japanese Parliament this Friday, and his testimony will be keenly watched for clues of a changing monetary policy which could materially impact the Japanese Yen, which has been showing high volatility lately, with the USD/JPY currency pair in focus.
- It is a public holiday today in the USA and Canada, so their markets will be closed today.
- Some commodities are performing quite well, with some continuing to rise after having recently made significant bullish breakouts, notably Sugar and Cocoa.
- Daily confirmed new global coronavirus cases decreased last week for the eighth consecutive week.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 678.7 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.00%. Daily new confirmed cases have fallen to a low level not seen since June 2020, shortly after the start of the pandemic