Stock Market Trading: 07 March 2014
European equities are set to open little changed as traders pass the time till Non-Farm Payrolls.
As always, everyone's speculating about the outcome, but interestingly it appears that this time the market is expected to remain buoyant whatever the number.
If it's a bad number, so what, the markets will probably shrug it off and blame it on the weather again, as has already been evidenced by the number of pundits making apologies for it.
If it's a good number, well the ability to create jobs despite the weather must be a sign of underlying strength.
Another sign of market buoyancy was the lack of reaction to US and EU sanctions against Russia.
Whether that's because markets don't see Russia retaliating in some way or don't give much credit to their assertion that they would is unclear, but either way it doesn't appear to have had much impact.
However, fears of another flare up in the Ukraine, and the associated carnage it caused on Monday, may keep traders on their toes going into the weekend and subsequently cap any gains.
A fall in US jobless claims to a 3 month low sent the Dow Jones 60 points higher to 16,428.5 yesterday as it indicated that firms were holding onto staff despite the cold weather.
Ahead of the Non-Farm Payrolls, which is expected to show a rise of 150,000 jobs, US investors remained optimistic as the Beige Book survey pointed to the economy growing in most regions.
Stock Market Trading: 06 March 2014
We are set to edge higher on the open this morning as Europe tracks overnight gains in Asia, although the upside is expected to be limited ahead of today's central bank meetings.
As the fifth year of 0.5% interest rates from the BoE passes, speculation continues to mount over whether it will see a sixth?
No changes are expected from the MPC today and, after Carney befuddled traders' rate outlook with forward guidance V2 at last month's inflation report, we are not expecting any statements.
The main source of today's volatility is supposed to be the ECB press conference, where Draghi is expected to gift something dovish to the CFD
An interest rate cut seems likely to be held in reserve for a really rainy day, whilst a negative deposit rate and full on quantitative easing both look to be political no-nos.
Therefore, markets seem to be pricing in the end of ECB sterilisation, which would be more of a compromise than a real attempt to quash deflation, and so may receive a lukewarm response.
We saw the Dow Jones dropping just 21 points to 16,368 as US economic data came in weaker than expected.
Meanwhile, officials are doing their utmost to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine but, whilst the issue is still making headlines, investors appear to be getting tired of the waiting game and moved to the sidelines.
No doubt Friday's Non-Farm Payrolls will bring them back in.
Stock Market Trading: 05 March 2014
European equities are set to ease slightly on the open as traders pause to catch their breath.
After two days of extreme geopolitical turmoil, which saw traders dump risk assets only to scramble to buy those same assets back the next day, we are roughly where we were at Friday's close.
Although the geopolitical thermostat has been turned down, traders won't be able to breathe easy as the next 3 days will see a deluge of market gyrating economic data releases and central bank meetings.
Amid mixed messages from Russia, President Vladimir Putin said he's not considering taking control of Crimea and global markets seem to have taken this at face value.
Mass media was quick to report the easing of tensions which spurred a rebound across the board.
The Dow Jones
rose by 227 points to 16,390.5, more than the previous day's slump.
Stock Market Trading: 04 March 2014
Fears that a Russian military presence in Ukraine might lead to a more serious confrontation sparked a risk-averse sentiment in global markets yesterday, sending equities tumbling.
The Dow Jones was definitely not spared, with positive US manufacturing data being easily outweighed by the geopolitical tensions, and so the index lost 153 points to close at 16,163.
This morning, European equities are set to creep up on the open as spread betting account
holders take a peek from behind cover.
The initial knee-jerk move lower seems to have hit a temporary floor and now everyone is wondering what the next move will be and by whom.
As Russian troops run amok in the Crimea, the lack of coherent response from the West may actually be providing some reassurance to traders that things won't escalate too far.
Many are reasoning that the only thing the West is going to be firing towards Russia is harsh words.
Stock Market Trading: 03 March 2014
European equities are set to open sharply lower as the weekend's headlines see traders heading for the bunkers.
Another set of weak China PMI's has hinted at sluggish growth and concerns are rising that this will impact the GDP estimates from the National People's Congress later this week.
Having said that, the question of whether China is growing at 7.3% or 7.5% seems to be less important to the markets this morning, what with the developments taking place closer to home in the Crimea.
Russia's incursion into the Crimea over the weekend has escalated the situation into a Mexican standoff, both figuratively and literally.
With beads of sweat forming on the brows of both the protagonists in this tense situation, spread traders
will be defaulting to the risk off/flight to safety trades.
An improved outlook for US consumer sentiment, as shown by Friday's University of Michigan report, drove the Dow Jones to an intraday high of 16,399, the highest level since 23 January.
Expectations that the Fed will continue to support growth kept investors optimistic, with the Dow finishing 49 points up at 16,341.5.
Nonetheless, an escalation in the Ukrainian conflict during the weekend took its toll, with Dow futures opening over 120 points lower this morning, struggling to post a rebound.