Search ForexCrunch

Indices:  Last week saw all eyes focused on Ukraine as the political crisis there has taken yet another turn, since President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted, with the focal point now being the stand-off between Russia and the US t over Crimea.

The markets’ high volatility was mostly due to mixed news from both “camps” and whether the conflict will be resolved without the use of military force. At the end of the week US indices found an upward direction and ended the period with new highs. The S&P500 closed at 1,878, or 1% increase, compared to a week earlier, when it was supported by upbeat market data. The Dow added 0.79% to close at 16,450, while the Nasdaq100 registered a symbolic rise of 0.19%.

Investment sentiment in Europe was also influenced by political uncertainties in Ukraine, with the DAX30 suffering the most. The leading German stock index dropped by 2.56% for the week and closed at 9,393, while the other leading European indices had minimal positive changes.

Forex

Last week, the economic calendar’s “abundance” contributed to a significant volatility on the Forex market. Supported by ECB President Mario Draghi’s speech, the euro rose against the dollar to close at 1,3871, or 70 pips gain, while the GBP/USD ended the week with a 20-pip decline. The AUD/USD, on the other hand, reported a strong increase by 150 pips ending the period at 0.9068.

Commodities

Chart movements were mixed on the commodities market. The price of gold continued rising for another consecutive week, adding 1.18% to its value to close at $1,339 per troy ounce. Silver, on the other hand, failed to impress investors this time and dropped to $20.88 per troy ounce, or a decline by 1.13%.

What to expect this week?

This week Monday has modest offerings on the table, with the Eurogroup meeting and the New Zealand Electronic Card Retail Sales being in sight. Tuesday, on the other hand, has a fuller basket of events, starring the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting, which is the main decision-making body of the Council of the European Union, China’s New Loans for February, the Bank of Japan Interest rate decision, Germany’s Trade Balance for January, the UK’s both Industrial and Manufacturing Productions for January (MoM and YoY), the US Wholesale Inventories for January and Australia’s Westpac Consumer Confidence for March. Wednesday’s highlights will be Australia’s Home Loans for January, Japan’s Consumer Confidence Index for February, the UK’s Trade Balance for January, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Interest Rate decision. Thursday is set to reveal Australia’s unemployment data for February, China’s Industrial Production, also for January, the US Initial Jobless Claims along with the country’s Retail Sales for February, and will end with the Bank of Japan meeting minutes.

Friday’s share in this week’s events includes Japan’s Industrial Production for February (YoY and MoM), Germany’s Consumer Price Index, also for February (YoY and MoM), the Eurozone employment change for Q4, and the Preliminary release of the US   Consumer Sentiment Index for March.

Further reading:  Traders seek safe haven assets amid Russia-Ukraine tensions