Archive March 2024

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Week InReview: March 29, 2024

Fed piloting another tricky soft-landing

The Fed is close to delivering a rare soft landing for the US economy but it faces yet another fraught challenge: reducing cash in the financial system without disrupting markets. With the Fed having already removed some $1.4 trillion as it shrinks its balance sheet to end pandemic-era support, the focus is increasingly turning to when it should stop. The worry is that if cash in the banking system, called reserves, breaches a certain minimum level, markets will freeze up. But no one knows what the right level is. (Reuters | Mar 28) see also Fed's operating losses swelled to a record $114.3 billion in 2023 (Bloomberg Economics - Central Banks | Mar 26)


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Week InAdvance: March 25, 2024

Mon Mar 25 UN Security Council meets on global threats. | Tue Mar 26 Boao Forum for Asia. | Wed Mar 27 WEF cybersecurity briefing. IOSCO meets on ISSB standards. Chinese bank earnings. | Thu Mar 28 Sentencing of former chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried. | Fri Mar 29 Good Friday. Exchanges closed in US and many other countries in observance of holiday. US federal government is open. | Sat Mar 30 Land Day in Palestinian Territories. | Sun Mar 31 Easter Sunday.


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Week InReview: March 22, 2024

Surprise cut.

From Zurich to London to Washington, the great inflation scare that gripped the world economy after the Covid pandemic is suddenly no longer keeping central bankers up at night as the prospect of rate cuts become real. The Swiss National Bank unexpectedly slashed its key interest rate by 25 basis points, moving months ahead of global peers. The SNB’s move foreshadows possible easing later this year by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank. Mexico's central bank also cut interest rates in a split decision on Thursday.


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Week InAdvance: March 18, 2024

Mon Mar 18 Summit for Democracy in Seoul. | Tue Mar 19 BOJ rate decision. | Wed Mar 20 Fed rate decision. International Day of Happiness. First day of spring. | Thu Mar 21 BOE rate decision. | Fri Mar 22 EU summit concludes. | Sat Mar 23 Purim (Jewish celebration). Earth Hour. | Sun Mar 24 Palm Sunday (Christian celebration). Holi (Hindu, Sikh religious festival).


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Week InReview: March 15, 2024

Traders waver on Fed outlook.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, at a Senate hearing on March 7. Photo: Al Drago | Bloomberg

Fed debate | Traders have again pared their bets for Fed rate cuts and now see just three quarter-point reductions this year, matching policymakers’ projections as of December. Hotter-than-expected producer price inflation and lower-than-anticipated jobless claims spurred speculation that the US economy can withstand elevated borrowing costs for longer. The shifting rate bets and economic data lifted 10-year Treasury yields above 4.20% as they climbed the most in a month, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index saw its biggest gain since mid-February.



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Week InAdvance: March 11, 2024

Mon Mar 11 OECD investment treaty conference. G20 climate change task force meets. Ramadan holiday for Muslims worldwide through April 8. | Tue Mar 12 US CPI. | Thu Mar 14 ESMA meets on CTPs. | Fri Mar 15 CFTC market and climate risk committees meet. Triple Witching. | Sun Mar 17 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world.


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Week InReview: March 8, 2024

Closing in on cuts.

Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell said: ‘We’re doing the best of anybody. We’ve got the strongest growth and the lowest inflation of the advanced economies’. Photo: Getty Images


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Week InAdvance: March 4, 2024

Mon Mar 4 ASEAN-Australia special summit. APEC meets in Peru. | Tue Mar 5 Super Tuesday. China’s National People’s Congress. WEF global risks briefing. | Wed Mar 6 SEC vote on weakened climate reporting rules. CFTC's global markets panel meets. Fed chair in the House. Fed's 'Beige Book'. | Thu Mar 7 SEC investor advisory panel meets. Fed chair in the Senate. ECB policy meeting. | Fri Mar 8 US monthly payrolls. International Women’s Day. Latest deadline for a new funding deal to avert a partial US government shutdown. | Sun Mar 10 Mothering Sunday in the UK. Muslim month of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, begins.


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Week InReview: March 1, 2024

What's moving markets.

Still climbing | Wall Street traders fearing another disappointing inflation report got a degree of relief after the Federal Reserve’s favored price gauge, the personal consumption expenditures index, was in line with economists’ expectations. Treasury yields slipped and US stocks moved higher, pushing the S&P 500 to yet another all-time high — its 14th record this year. The Nasdaq 100 rose almost 1% with Nvidia leading gains in megacaps. Bitcoin also rallied again Thursday, a day after the 10 new exchange-traded funds investing directly in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency took in a net $673 million, handily beating their launch day record.


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