Bitcoin traded above the resistance area around $45,000, and reached $48,000 before closing March at $45,781. Risky assets rebounded from the initial news of Russian military action against Ukraine and closed the first quarter of the year near opening year price ranges.
DBS Bank Group Chief Executive Officer, Piyush Gupta, at the Economic Times Global Business Summit, shared his view that while cryptocurrencies’ volatility inhibits their ability to be a stable form of money, it can be an alternative to gold and a store of value. The bank has set up its own DBS Digital Exchange to serve accredited inventors and institutional clients.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), rejected the application for the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). The SEC rejected a proposed rule change from the Chicago Board Options Exchange BZX Exchange to list and trade shares of the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF. The SEC said the proposed rule change would not be “‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” nor “protect investors and the public interest.” This statement reiterates the common reason the SEC rejected other spot-bitcoin based ETFs.
DAILY TREND: SIDEWAYS
Bitcoin broke through the $46,000 resistance area at the end of March as it steadily traded towards $48,000.
XBT closed the month at $45,781 with a 9.9% change.
UPCOMING HIGH IMPACT EVENTS
Spring 2024 bitcoin halving event
US Dollar -
After a strong start to the month the U.S. Dollar Index ® (USDX) ended the month range bound, as it struggled to close above a daily resistance area of 99.08 - 99.43 or below a daily support area of 97.85 – 97.29. The USDX closed the month positive at 98.36 with a 1.60% gain, leaving a new 22-month high of 99.43.
Positive jobs data released on 4th March showed February Nonfarm Payrolls came in with 678,000 new jobs created, exceeding expectations of 400,000. Another month with highly positive data above previously reported figures, highest printed in 6 months. January data announced February was revised to 481,000 new jobs against a reported 467,000. A positive day of trading with the USDX closing at 98.67 with a gain of 0.62%.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released on 10th March showed annual inflation continued to gain momentum with all items recording an increase of 7.9% before seasonal adjustments for the 12-month period ending February, the highest in more than 40 years. Prices for all items less food and energy rose to 6.4% over the last 12 months equaling market expectations and setting another record increase since the period ending August 1982. Despite concerns, the USDX closed up for the day at 98.50 (+0.41%).
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met on 16th March, details released highlighted economic activity and employment continued to strengthen but concerns continued around the elevated level of inflation. Objectives remain to achieve maximum employment and meet an inflation target of 2% in the longer run. Federal Funds Rate raised by 25 basis points (bps). The FOMC also expects to reduce its Balance Sheet (those consisting of Mortgage Backed Securities and Treasury Securities) at a future meeting. The USDX closed the day at 98.62 (-0.29%).
The U.S. Dollar Index ® had a strong start to the month of March with the bulls in control from the European session driving prices higher as the demand for the U.S. Dollar increased. This upward move continued throughout the day as positive ISM Manufacturing PMI (Feb) data released on 1st March came out at 58.6, above expectations and January’s data. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the first day of trading at 97.41 with a gain of 0.62%.
The following trading day was not as positive as bears returned and the U.S. Dollar Index ® struggled to gain any momentum. Early gains made throughout the Asian and early European trading sessions quickly eroded during the U.S. trading session. Even positive ADP Employment change (475,000 jobs created against an expected number of 388,000) was not enough to continue the earlier upward momentum and as the U.S. Dollar Index ® tested the European trading session high at 97.85, the market dropped. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day at 98.31 with a modest gain of 0.01%.
On 3rd March ISM Services PMI (Feb) data was released printing 56.5 and even though the data came out below expectations (61) and the prior month data (59.9), this had little impact on the overall direction of the U.S. Dollar Index ®. The demand for the U.S. Dollar remained strong throughout the trading day with the bulls driving prices higher. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day at 97.79 with a gain of 0.32%.
Nonfarm Payrolls data released on 4th March reported 678,000 new jobs created which surpassed expectations of 400,000 and the prior months reported numbers which were positively revised up to 504,000 (from 467,000). This good news encouraged more U.S. Dollar buyers into the market and the demand drove the U.S. Dollar Index ® higher as the market continued its strong bullish move. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day at 98.67 with a gain of 0.62%.
The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the first week of March trading at 98.67, a gain of 1.48%.
The bullish momentum continued into the second week of trading where the U.S. Dollar Index ® bulls were firmly in control on 7th March as the market continued to extend the previous four-day gains. The U.S. Dollar Index ® reached an area of resistance refined on a daily chart at 99.08 – 99.43 formed in May 2020 where sellers were waiting and prices began to struggle. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed up for the day on 7th March at 99.30 with a gain of 0.67%, leaving a new 22-month high at 99.43.
The following day, 8th March the selling pressure found at this area of resistance was too strong, and after the first five days of trading where the U.S. Dollar Index ® hugged the upper band of the daily Bollinger Bands, the bulls could no longer drive prices higher and the U.S. Dollar Index ® began to drop. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day down at 99.08 recording a loss of 0.17%, the first daily loss of the month.
The bears started to gain more traction as the U.S. Dollar Index ® continued to fall throughout the 9th March trading, recording the biggest down day seen so far in 2022 and only stopping after finding some support from the daily 10 period EMA that the market had not closed below since 16th February. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the 9th March at 97.95 with a loss of 1.07%.
Trading opened on 10th March with the U.S. Dollar Index ® trading sideways as the markets were awaiting the latest CPI data. Initial reactions to the news were negative as annual inflation continued to gain momentum with all items recording an increase of 7.9% for the 12-month period ending February (before seasonal adjustments), the highest in more than 40 years. Prices for all items less food and energy rose to 6.4% over the last 12 months setting another record increase since the period ending August 1982. On the announcement the U.S. Dollar Index ® dropped, piercing through the daily 10 period EMA and falling into a daily area of support at 97.85 – 97.29 created on 2nd March where buyers were waiting. The U.S. Dollar Index ® struggled to continue lower as the bulls returned and drove prices upwards. The market closed the day at 98.50 with a gain of 0.41%.
With the bulls back in control the U.S. Dollar Index ® continued to rally into the following trading day, even negative Michigan Consumer Sentiment data released (59.7 against expected 61.4) did not deter the bulls as the market gained momentum. An area of resistance on a daily chart at 99.08 – 99.43 was above waiting to be challenged as the market was drawing to a close with little time left in the trading week. The U.S. Dollar Index ® reached the area and closed the trading day on 11th March at 99.13 a gain of 0.67%. This was also the close of the second week of trading resulting in a gain of 0.50% for the week.
Trading on 14th March began with the U.S. Dollar Index ® inside the area of resistance reached during Friday’s trading. Prices traded higher during the Asian trading session until finally breaking down as the European session began with a brief retest later in the trading day. The U.S. Dollar Index ® struggled to find enough sellers to drop significantly and the market closed at 99.02 down 0.05%.
Trading on 15th March saw the U.S. Dollar Index ® returned to the resistance area on a daily chart where a newly formed pocket of resistance was created within this wider range on a smaller time frame during the European trading session on the prior day at 99.16 - 99.25. The U.S. Dollar Index ® reacted from this pocket of resistance twice during the Asian and late afternoon trading in the US session and on both occasions sellers drove prices lower although not a significant move from a daily perspective. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day at 99.06 down a modest 0.02%.
On 16th March, the U.S. Dollar Index ® continued to fall from the prior day’s highs with the bears back in control. This downward move was helped by the initial reaction to negative Retail Sales data out for February (month-on-month) which announced a modest rise in sales of 0.3%, falling below expectations of 0.4% and significantly below January’s figures that were revised up from 3.8% to 4.9%. This drop reversed shortly after the initial reaction to the Retail Sales announcement as buyers stepped in and the U.S. Dollar Index ® began to move upwards. The momentum took the market back into the wider pocket of resistance on the daily chart at 99.08 – 99.43, reaching a high of 99.10 before falling.
This drop coincided with the FOMC announcement and the interest rate decision as inflationary concerns continue to weigh heavy on the economy with the Fed not ruling out multiple rate hikes throughout the year that may even be at 50 basis points (bps) increments if needed. The Fed announced an increase in interest rates of 25 bps during the meeting, the first rise since the pandemic began which for some was more dovish than expected. The need for caution was also noted as the military action with Russia in Ukraine continues and the impact the sanctions will have on the global economy take hold. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day at 98.62 with a loss of 0.29%.
On 17th March trading on the U.S. Dollar Index ® continued with this bearish tone and whilst no further planned announcements were due for the day the market was still digesting the prior day’s events. The bears were still in control as the U.S. Dollar Index ® continued to fall further until the market found support after testing the midpoint of the daily Bollinger Bands which cut through the daily area of support at 97.85 – 97.29 rejecting any further decline as the buyers stepped in. Whilst the day's close was still bearish, the lows were rejected and the U.S. Dollar Index ® closed at 97.98 down 0.49%.
Shortly after trading began on 18th March the U.S. Dollar Index ® dipped back into the area of support which combined with the midpoint of the daily Bollinger Bands found buyers causing the market to rally ending the day up at 98.23 with a gain of 0.25%.
The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the third trading week in March with an overall loss of 0.86% at 98.23.
The final full trading week in March saw the bulls out as the U.S. Dollar Index ® continued to move higher and trading closed on 21st March at 98.50 with a gain of 0.26%. The following trading days of the week, whilst they all printed positive gains, the U.S. Dollar Index ® struggled to move up with any conviction. Data out on 24th March showed demand for Durable Goods Orders fell in February and whilst this would normally be viewed negatively, this did not have any significant impact on the U.S. Dollar Index ® as the index closed up for the day at 98.80 a gain of 0.17%. The final trading day of the week saw the bulls and bears driving prices in both directions, although another retest of the mid-point of the daily Bollinger Bands proved to be a success for the buyers as the U.S. Dollar Index ® rallied to close the day with a gain of 0.08%.
After clawing back, some of the losses made from the previous week the U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the week at 98.82 with a gain of 0.59%.
The U.S. Dollar Index ® started 28th March trading continuing with the bullish sentiment seen during the prior week although as the market began to climb there was an area of resistance on a daily chart at 99.08 – 99.43 which even though was tested earlier in the month had not been broken and selling pressure stopped the market from going higher. As the U.S. Dollar Index ® rallied into this area, it met resistance as sellers stepped in and prices started to tentatively fall. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day 99.06, with a gain of 0.24%.
The most significant drop began on 29th March as the U.S. Dollar Index ® struggled to reach the highs of the prior day during early trading in the Asian session before dropping dramatically throughout the European and US sessions. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed at 98.44 with a loss of 0.61% for the day.
This downward momentum continued into the following trading day, 30th March as the bears continued to display their dominance as the U.S. Dollar Index ® fell for a second consecutive day. Even the positive ADP figures out with 455,000 new jobs created against expectations of 450,000 and a dip into the daily area of support at 97.85 – 97.29 was not enough to change the prevailing direction. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed the day at 97.87 with a loss of 0.60%.
The final day of March trading saw the U.S. Dollar Index ® dropped back into the daily area of support at 97.85 – 97.29 which it had tested on the prior day, combined with the lower band of the daily Bollinger Bands where the buyers came out with more conviction. The U.S. Dollar Index ® began to rally, closing the final day of March trading at 98.36 with a gain of 0.47%.
The weekly uptrend continues and the prevailing daily trend is still up however, based on the U.S. Dollar Index ® during the month of March we are currently in a sideways range as the U.S. Dollar Index ® is locked between a daily area of support at 97.85 – 97.29 and a daily area of resistance at 99.08 – 99.43. The U.S. Dollar Index ® closed March at 98.36 with a gain of 1.60%.
Thr 28 Apr Nondefense Capital Goods Orders ex. Aircraft (Mar)
South Korean Won -
The South Korean Won closed the month of March at 1,214.17 KRW against the U.S. Dollar, with the South Korean Won losing the gains made at the prior month's close.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released on 2nd March gave the South Korean Won a boost as positive data was released for Quarter 4. Annual data published a growth rate of 4.2% with quarterly data reporting a 1.2% growth. Both figures came out above expectations and an increase on prior data released.
Unemployment figures released on 15th March showed the unemployment rate was at 2.7% a fall on January numbers released at 3.7%.
Industrial output data released on 30th March came out above expectations with February year-on-year data showing at 6.5%, which is significantly above expectations of 4.5% and exceeding January output figures of 4.2%.
DAILY TREND: UP
USDKRW started the month with the U.S. Dollar bulls in control for the first day of trading. Industrial output (year-on-year January) came out with a growth of 4.3% but fell short of both expectations and prior period adding to the South Korean Won weakness. This was compounded by Service sector output month-on-month falling by 0.3%. The USDKRW closed 1st March at 1205.33, a gain of 0.46%. A gain in the pair means weakness for the South Korean Won.
The following trading day the USDKRW challenged the highs of the last trading day of February where it met resistance. Positive GDP data out on 2nd March helped to bring out the buyers of the South Korean Won, sending the pair lower (KRW is the quote). Again, the highs of February were challenged although the pair failed to reach February’s month high at 1210.84 before dropping.
This reversed on 4th March as the U.S. Dollar bulls came out with force, sending the pair rallying, and breaking through the February highs to close the day at 1217.47 up 0.89%. The USDKRW closed the first week of trading with a gain of 1.66%.
This strong bullish move continued into the second week of trading with the USDKRW closing on 7th March with a gain of 1.21%. With the bulls firmly in control 8th March the USDKRW continued to move upwards until the pair reached an area of resistance refined to 1232.19 – 1243.82 on a weekly chart. Here sellers were waiting and the USDKRW steadily began to fall, although still printing a positive gain for the day at 0.11%. The bears regained control on 9th March as more sellers came in and the USDKRW dropped to close at 1223.13, down 0.84%. With the South Korean Won being the quote currency, this was the largest one-day gain made against the U.S. Dollar so far in 2022.
This move was short lived as the bulls returned on 10th March driving prices higher once more, this positive move continued into the last trading day of the week. The USDKRW closed the second week of trading at 1237.08 with a gain of 1.61%.
The following trading week the USDKRW continued to push deeper into this area of weekly resistance with the bulls in control printing a further two straight positive trading days until the USDKRW found more resistance at a daily area at 1238.56 – 1244.20, along the upper limits of the weekly resistance zone. The USDKRW pushed just above this area to a high of 1247.05 but failed to close and sellers again stepped in driving the pair lower.
The 16th and 17th March saw the largest drops in the USDKRW for 2022 with the pair printing a loss of 1.46% and 1.07% consecutively which was highly correlated with the movements on the U.S. Dollar Index ® at the time. This fall in the U.S. Dollar led to the largest two-day gain for the South Korean Won in 2022. After the drop the pair tested an area of support created on the daily chart from earlier in the month with a range of 1208.72 – 1202.29 and on 18th March buyers stepped in and the pair began to rise. The USDKRW closed the week at 1211.14 down 2.10%.
The USDKRW throughout the following week stair stepped higher, closing at 1225.08 with a gain of 1.18% for the week.
On 28th March the pair reached a small pocket of resistance on a 60-minute chart where the sellers were waiting and the pair declined for two consecutive days, landing back inside the daily support where again the bulls fought back sending the market upwards.
Overall, the weekly uptrend continues with the Weekly 20 SMA acting as support. The overall daily trend is up however, weakness is evident. The USDKRW closed the month at 1214.17 with a gain of 1.20%.
UPCOMING HIGH IMPACT EVENTS
No major events listed
Singapore Dollar -
The Singapore Dollar closed the month at $1.3547 against the U.S. Dollar with no change for the month as the USDSGD remained within the sideways trading action seen on a monthly chart for the past 9 months.
The Singapore PMI Manufacturing data was released on 2nd March at 50.2 with a slight drop compared to the prior month's release and below expectations both reported at 50.6.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released on 23rd March showed inflation started to creep up with CPI - all items 12-month ending February at 4.3%, slightly up on the preceding month at 4.0% and expectations of 4.2%.
Data published on 25th March by the Singapore Department for Statistics shows Industrial Production reported strong growth for manufacturing output in February coming in at 17.6% year-on-year. Revised data for February showed production was up by 2.4% year-on-year up from the earlier reported 2.0%.
DAILY TREND: SIDEWAYS
The USDSGD started the month with no clear direction as the pair traded sideways for three days within the trading range set by the last trading day of February (1.3601 – 1.3526). The pair eventually traded briefly above this range on the 4th March when buyers drove prices higher. Whilst the day closed positive, the pair could not close above the range.
The USDSGD closed the first week of trading at 1.3596 with a gain of 0.52%.
The momentum to the upside continued during trading on 7th and 8th March with the pair printing two further consecutive positive trading days. However, on 8th March the USDSGD reached an area of resistance at 1.3656 – 1.3689 formed on a daily chart on 20thDecember 2021.
This pocket of resistance proved a challenge and with an abundance of sellers, the USDSGD fell heavily from this area throughout 9th March trading, closing down by 0.54% for the day. This weakness in the pair led to a strengthening of the Singapore Dollar (quote currency).
This bearish tone was short lived as the USDSGD found some demand and buyers drove the pair higher for the remaining trading days in the week. The USDSGD closed the second week at 1.3630 with a gain of 0.22%.
The bullish momentum continued into the third week of trading with the USDSGD printing a positive close on 14th March as it retested an area of resistance at 1.3656 – 1.3689. On 15th March, the pair pushed higher probing the upper boundaries of this area, posting a high of 1.3687 before pulling back as sellers stepped in.
The bears took full control and the pair dropped heavily during the following two straight trading days, wiping out all of the gains the U.S. Dollar had made against the Singapore Dollar throughout the month so far.
The pair eventually came to a halt as it tested the lows that the pair had traded to on the 1st March (1.3529) where it seemed to find some support and steadily began to rise.
The USDSGD closed the trading week at 1.3547 with a loss of 0.67%. This is the first close of the month where the Singapore Dollar managed to gain some ground.
This move to the upside continued into the following week although the pair struggled to gain any significant momentum with the bulls gaining the upper hand one day to see the market switch the following day. The bulls and bears continued to challenge each other throughout the week as the pair grinded slowly higher to close the week at 1.3575 up 0.21%.
On 28th March, the bulls came back with some conviction as the USDSGD rallied closing the day at 1.3608, a gain of 0.25%. However, this was short lived as the bears came back and pushed harder as prices dropped 0.59% over the following two trading days, breaking below the March low to date and creating a new March low of 1.3523 before prices began to retrace on the final trading day.
The USDSGD remains without a clear direction and so the sideways trend on a daily chart continues. The USDSGD closed the month at 1.3546, a fraction below the open at 1.3547 registering 0.00% change for the month.
UPCOMING HIGH IMPACT EVENTS
No major events listed
Chinese Yuan -
The Chinese Yuan Renminbi closed March at 6.33528 CNY against the U.S. Dollar after losing ground throughout the month.
The NBS Manufacturing PMI data for February published on 1st March showed a slight improvement on January's release coming in at 50.2 against expectations of 49.9 and January data of 50.1. Non-Manufacturing PMI data also showed an improvement on the prior months data announcing 51.6 against 51.1 in January.
China’s foreign reserves declined further in February from $3.22 trillion at the end of January to $3.21 trillion by the end of February 2022 according to data released on 7th March.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released on 9th March by the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed CPI is growing at a rate of 0.9% February year on year, slightly higher than expected although level with 12-month ending January data.
DAILY TREND: SIDEWAYS
March trading opened with the USDCNH deep inside an area of support found on a daily chart refined to 6.3176 - 6.3063 which the pair had failed to lift from with any conviction during the final week of February trading. It was here the Yuan traded to the strongest point against the U.S. Dollar since May 2018 at 6.3061. Positive Manufacturing PMI data from China added more buying pressure to the Yuan as the fierce battle with the U.S. Dollar bulls continued with the U.S. Dollar struggling to gain ground.
Each time prices lifted above the daily support area, the U.S. Dollar bears drove prices back down from the daily highs but steadily the market pushed higher. The first week of trading resulted in the USDCNH closing at 6.3243 a gain of 0.24%.
The following week the USDCNH continued with mainly sideways action within the daily support area, neither side gaining much ground. CPI data came out as expected on 9th March, which may have helped Yuan to regain some of the losses incurred earlier in the week although not a significant amount as U.S. Dollar bulls stood firm.
11th March saw a significant shift as the U.S. Dollar bulls eventually drove prices higher, breaking rapidly out of the support area and blasting through the upper boundary of the channel the USDCNH had traded within since July 2021. The pair closed the day at 6.3580 with a gain of 0.51%. The USDCNH closed the week at 6.3580 with a gain of 0.53%.
This bullish move continued into the following week and on 14th March the pair rallied through the previously challenged resistance area at 6.3769 - 6.3863 (on a daily chart) to close the day at 6.3932, a gain of 0.57%.
In just two days of trading the gains, the U.S. Dollar made in USDCNH pairing wiped out all the gains the Yuan had made all year against the U.S. Dollar.
The bullish mood continued into the early part of trading on 15th March with the USDCNH climbing to a high of 6.4107. With the Yuan being the quote currency, this is the weakest the Yuan had traded against the U.S. Dollar since October 2021. The pair found some resistance and began to fall and the Yuan started to recover some of the losses. This weakness continued throughout the trading session and the pair closed 6.3801 down 0.21%. The bearish move continued into the following trading session the USDCNH closed down 0.28%. The bulls returned and to claw back some of these losses although struggled to reach the highs from earlier in the week, closing the week at 6.3669, a gain of 0.16%.
The pair continued to steadily rise the following week, printing 3 straight positive trading days until the market met some resistance posting the first day's loss of the week on 24th March although not enough to claw back earlier U.S. Dollar gains. The pair had a positive trading day on the last day of the week to close the week at 6.3837, a gain of 0.26%.
The final week of March trading started positive as the USDCNH bulls continued to drive the pair higher, with two consecutive higher daily closes although this eventually met some resistance as the pair approached 6.4000 and selling pressure crept in. This weakness continued in the final trading sessions for the month where the bears returned with some momentum, the USDCNH closed lower for 3 straight trading days with an overall loss during this period of 0.49%.
The breakout of the highs from the downward channel on a daily chart put an end to the daily downtrend as we await the pair to make its next move to determine trend direction. Current trend phase is sideways. The USDCNH closed the month of March at 6.3528 down 0.68%.
UPCOMING HIGH IMPACT EVENTS
Mon 11 Apr CPI (Mar)
Mon 18 Apr Gross Domestic Product (QoQ) (Q1)
Mon 18 Apr Gross Domestic Product (YoY) (Q1)
Mon 18 Apr Retail Sales (Mar)
Wed 20 Apr PBOC Interest Rate Decision
Sat 30 Apr NBS–Manufacturing & Non–Manufacturing PMI (Apr)
Asia Tech -
For a third month in a row, the ICE Asia Tech 30 Index (ATI) set a new monthly low at $3,415, as global equities continued their weakness, and managed to recover from the mid-month lows to end the first quarter mildly weaker. ATI traded the last half of March between $3,800 and $4,000 and closed the month lower by 3.4%.
Chinese component stocks continued to put pressure on the index with Sunny Optical Technology Group taking another hit by 32.5% from the February close. Kuaishou Technology was down 17.1% and JD.com down 16.2%. The only positive company was Alibaba Group Holding, up by 7.6%.
Taiwan component MediaTek Inc. suffered a 17.7% drop with Delta electronics, Inc gaining 4.7% from the prior month.
Nintendo continued to perform modestly, rising 6.3%, and with multiple components rising over 10% including Tokyo electron Ltd. (13.4%), NTT Data Corporation (11.3%), Fujitsu Limited (11.2%) and Canon inc. (10.9%).
Three of the five Korean stocks making up the index again were positive month-on-month with Kakao rising 13.2% for the second month in a row, the largest rise of the three component stocks.
DAILY TREND: DOWN
ATI made a new low mid-March at $3,415 before a strong recovery towards $4,000 and remained range bound between $4,000 and $3,800.
ATI closed the month at $3,926 with a -3.4% change.
Index Composition: 37% China, 23% Japan, 23% Taiwan and 17% South Korea
UPCOMING HIGH IMPACT EVENTS
Fri 1 Apr China Non-Manufacturing PMI
Mon 11 Apr China CPI (Mar)
Mon 18 Apr Retail Sales (Mar)
Wed 20 Apr PBOC Interest Rate Decision
Brent crude oil reached its highest level at prices not seen since 2008 as Russian hostilities continued into March. Brent peaked shy of $135.00 on 8th March before falling to around $95.00 mid-month and moved higher towards $120.00. Brent crude oil closed the month 9.7% higher versus February at $104.71.
The OPEC+ meeting on Thursday 31st March saw the alliance agree to a 432,000 barrels per day production increase in May, which is a modest 8% increase from prior months. Earlier calls for supply increases were not heeded at the start of Russian hostilities, which resulted in a large spike in global oil prices. Under pressure to act on continued elevated oil prices, the United States plans to release 180 million barrels from their Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
While the United States banned oil imports from Russian sources, the European Union (EU) is not expected to follow suit given that about 25% of EU oil is purchased from Russia. EU members are concerned that any cut in their demand will lead to higher prices putting further pressure on rising inflation, as their economies are already under stress from more than two years of Covid.
DAILY TREND: UP
Brent peaked shy of $135.00 as the war between Russia and Ukraine intensified, retraced to $95 by the middle of March before surging towards $120.00 as peace negotiations stalled.
Brent closed the month at $104.71 with a +9.7% change.
UPCOMING HIGH IMPACT EVENTS
Thr 31 Mar OPEC+ policy meeting to decide on whether to increase supply of oil in May by 400,000 barrels per day similar to prior months or by some other amount.
Key Figures -
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