Search ForexCrunch

Indices:  Despite last week’s “booming” with interesting events and news calendar, stock markets were not very impressed and ended the week with minimal changes. Mixed results from the US labour market and lackluster Fed meeting minutes might have contributed to the unclear direction of US markets. The S&P500 appreciated by 0.67% to close at 1,842 points, the technological Nasdaq100 increased by 0.83% to 3,565 points, while the Dow reported a modest rise by 0.12% to close the week at 16,440 points.

Another important but expected news from the US was the appointment of new Fed Chairman; unsurprisingly, Janet Yellen became the first woman to take over the US central bank in its 100 years of history.

The highlight of the week in Europe was the regular monthly press conference by ECB President Mario Draghi. Following the ECB’s decision to keep its interest rate unchanged at 0.25%, Draghi once again expressed a firm stand in support of the European economy as well as his intention to keep or even further reduce the otherwise record-low interest rate, in case it is necessary. European markets reacted positively to Draghi’s statement and all leading indices were coloured in green, closing within a 1% increase, while Spain’s IBEX was the top performer and shot by more than 5% to close at 10,283.

Forex

Last week saw the US dollar falling against most of its other currency counterparts. The greenback lost ground against both the euro and the sterling, with the EUR/USD and GBP/USD appreciating by 82 and 79 points, respectively. On the hand, the USD/JPY lost 70 pips while the AUD/USD increased by 56 pips. A logical consequence to the weak dollar was the fall of the dollar index for March DX0314: 0.40 %, ending the week at $80.73.

Commodities

On the commodities market, gold rose for a third consecutive week, this time by 0.82% to $1247 per troy ounce. After oil’s big losses from previous periods, it experienced another difficult week. US oil futures for February delivery (WTI0214) reached $92.72 per barrel, or a weekly decline by 1.60%.

What to expect this week?

This week is also promising an interesting set of economic events. The rest of Monday will see New Zealand’s Electronic Card Retail Sales for December (MoM and YoY), which measures purchases made in New Zealand on debit, credit, and store cards; and Japan’s Trade Balance – BOP Basis for November. Tuesday’s highlights will come from the UK’s Consumer and Retail Price Indexes, both for December (YoY and MoM), the Eurozone Industrial Production for November, the US Export and Import Price Indexes for December (YoY and MoM), along with the country’s Retail Sales for December. Wednesday will see the US Mortgage Applications and Producer Price Index for December (YoY and MoM) as well as Japan’s Machinery Orders for November (MoM and YoY). Thursday’s main entries will be Australia’s employment data, Japan’s Industrial Production for November (YoY and MoM), both the Eurozone and Germany’s Consumer Price Indexes for December. The US will also release its Consumer Price Index on Thursday, along with the country’s Initial Jobless Claims. Friday will close the week with Japan’s Consumer Confidence Index, the UK’s Retail Sales, and the US Building Permits and Housing Starts.

Outside of the economic calendar, the US earnings season is getting into full swing. Among the companies due to release their financial statements this week are: JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., on Tuesday, American Express Co., Citigroup Inc. and Intel Corp., on Thursday, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., General Electric Co. and Morgan Stanley, on Friday.

More:  Stronger dollar in 2014, but gains could be limited