US banks bolster 1st Republic, Credit Suisse looks to SNB, stocks up.
Risk appetite rose after a total of 11 US banks agreed to bail out First Republic by depositing USD 30 billion with the mid-sized lender. First Republic Bank’s shares tumbled 20 percent yesterday, reflecting worries that it might be the next bank to fail since Silicon Valley Bank imploded.
Troubled Swiss bank, Credit Suisse announced that it will exercise an option to borrow up to USD 54 billion from the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to support liquidity.
Wall Street stocks rebounded with the Dow finishing at 32,175 (31,840), up 1.08%. The S&P 500 gained 1.68% to 3,955 (3,892). The NASDAQ soared 2.69% to 12,587 from 12,270 yesterday.
Bond prices slumped while yields rose. The benchmark US 10-year treasury yield climbed 11 basis points to 3.56%. Germany’s ten year Bund rate rose to 2.28% from 2.12% yesterday.
The Dollar Index (USD/DXY) a popular gauge of the Greenback’s value against a basket of 6 major currencies, eased 0.26% to 104.05 (104.35).
The Euro (EUR/USD) rallied 0.30% to finish at 1.0612 (1.0575) after the ECB hiked interest rates 0.50% which was expected. The ECB’s Governing Council remained highly concerned about inflation.
Against the Japanese Yen, the US Dollar edged higher to 133.50 from 133.30. Overnight, the USD/JPY pair tumbled to a near 5-week low at 131.71 in choppy trade.
The Australian Dollar (AUD/USD) rallied 0.55% to 0.6655 (0.6612 yesterday) after an upbeat Employment report. Australia’s Unemployment Rate in February dropped to 3.5%, its lowest level since the 1970’s. A total of 64,600 Jobs were created, beating median estimates of 49,700.
Sterling (GBP/USD) rose to 1.2120 from 1.2048 against the overall weaker Greenback. Against the Asian and EMFX, the US Dollar was mostly lower. USD/THB (Dollar-Thai Baht) dipped to 34.47 (34.60). Against the Offshore Chinese Yuan, the Greenback (USD/CNH) climbed to 6.8960 (6.8930).
Other economic data released yesterday saw Japan’s February Revised Industrial Production fall to -5.3% from a previous -4.6%, which was the median forecast. Canada’s Wholesale Sales dipped to 2.4%, lower than median forecasts at 3.0%.
US Weekly Unemployment Claims improved to 192K from a previous 212K, and better than estimates at 205K. US February Building Permits rose to 1.52M from 1.34M. Housing Starts were also up, at 1.45M from expectations of 1.32M, which was the previous number.
EUR/USD – The Euro rallied above the 1.0600 level to finish at 1.0612 against 1.0575 yesterday. The ECB hiked interest rates by 50 basis points which was expected. The ECB’s Governing Council remained concerned about inflation, which buoyed the shared currency.
USD/JPY – The rebound in US bond yields and an improved market mood lifted the USD/JPY pair to 133.50 in late New York, up from yesterday’s 133.30. In volatile trade, the Greenback tumbled to an overnight low at 131.71 before rebounding at the close.
AUD/USD – The improved market mood and overall weaker US Dollar lifted the Aussie Battler to 0.6655 from yesterday’s 0.6612. Better-than-expected February Australian Employment supported the Aussie. In steady trade, the overnight high recorded was at 0.6668 while the low was at 0.6613.
GBP/USD – Sterling benefitted from the rise in the Euro and the overall weaker US Dollar. The British Pound closed at 1.2120 against yesterday’s 1.2048. There were no major economic data releases out of the UK yesterday. The improvement in global risk sentiment also supported Sterling.
On the lookout
The week finishes with a light economic calendar amidst the ongoing global banking worries. Japan kicks off Asia with its January Tertiary Industry Index (m/m f/c 0.5% from -0.4% – ACY Finlogix). China follows with its February Foreign Direct Investment (FDI y/y f/c 18.0% from 14.5% – ACY Finlogix). Italy starts off Europe with its January Balance of Trade (f/c +EUR 1.3 billion from a previous +EUR 1.067 billion – ACY Finlogix). Canada kicks off North American data with its February PPI (m/m f/c 0.2% from 0.4%; y/y f/c 3.3% from 5.4%), Canadian February Raw Materials Prices (m/m f/c 0.2% from -0.1%; y/y f/c -4.6% from 1.2%). The US rounds up today’s reports with its February Industrial Production (m/m f/c 0.2% from 0%; y/y f/c 0.2% from 0.8% – ACY Finlogix), US February Manufacturing Production (m/m f/c -0.2% from 1%; y/y f/c 0.2% from 0.8%; US February Capacity Utilisation (f/c 78.4% from 78.3%), US CB Leading Index for February (m/m f/c -0.3% from -0.3%), and finally US Preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for March (f/c 67 from 67) and US Preliminary University of Michigan March Inflation Expectations (f/c 4.1% from 4.1%).
While the market’s mood improved, risk appetite remains shaky as we come to the end of a volatile week. Contagion fears from the fallout of SVB, First Republic and Credit Suisse remain despite an agreement by the world’s largest banks to provide support. While the US Dollar dipped, further volatility in FX would be supportive of the Greenback.
Movement in bond yields, which have been trading more like spot FX, will also be monitored.
EUR/USD – The Euro rebounded against the Greenback to finish above the 1.0600 level to 1.0612. Overnight high traded was at 1.0636. This puts immediate resistance for today at 1.0635 followed by 1.0655. On the downside, look for immediate support at the 1.0550 level, which was the overnight low traded. The next support level lies at 1.0520, followed by 1.0490. A hawkish ECB Governing Council is supportive for the EUR/USD pair. Likely range today 1.0550-1.0650. Prefer to sell EUR/USD rallies.