As the Easter holidays approach, the market is relatively quiet, with little change to the macro narrative since Friday. Here are some notable observations and updates across various regions and sectors:

Global Market Trends:

  • Over the weekend, there was minimal news activity. However, it’s worth mentioning that the ECB’s Scicluna hinted at a potential April rate cut, although the focus remains on June for most members and data.
  • European and US chip-related stocks faced downward pressure after reports surfaced that China has barred the use of Intel and AMD chips in government computers. Conversely, EU defense stocks saw a boost following a terror attack in Moscow over the weekend.
  • Despite comments from Japan’s top FX diplomat, Kanda, regarding the current weakness of the Japanese yen (JPY), the currency traded sideways against the US dollar.
  • Asian markets closed mixed, with the Nikkei 225 underperforming at -1.1%. European indices opened modestly higher but quickly turned negative, with Cyprus and Greece closed for holidays. The US futures also showed a slight decline.

Economic Highlights:

  • China’s Finance Minister, Lan Foan, expressed confidence in achieving full-year economic development goals.
  • Japan’s Currency Chief Kanda reiterated concerns about recent FX movements not reflecting fundamentals.
  • Australia’s Treasurer Chalmers advocated for maintaining the power to override RBA rate decisions, based on recommendations from the Coalition and Greens.
  • Various statements and outlook revisions from European countries and rating agencies were observed, affecting sovereign ratings and economic forecasts.

Market Performance:

  • European indices opened higher but shifted to a negative bias early in the session. Notable movements include telecom and industrial sectors leading the gains, while consumer discretionary and communication services sectors trended lower.
  • Specific equity movements included fluctuations in consumer discretionary, financials, real estate, materials, technology, and utilities sectors based on company-specific news and earnings reports.

Key Economic Events Ahead:

  • Scheduled economic events include ECB chief Lagarde’s speech, daily Euribor fixing, Germany’s bond auctions, US New Home Sales data, the Fed’s Bostic participation in a moderated conversation, and various bond auctions in different countries.

Conclusion: As the market awaits fresh catalysts amidst the approaching Easter holidays, investors remain vigilant of global economic developments and regional geopolitical tensions, which may influence market sentiment and trading activity in the days ahead.

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