US Futures Lower, Nvidia Continues to Weigh

United States Stock Market

Stock futures in the US were lower on Wednesday, with contracts on both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones falling about 0.1% and the Nasdaq 100 declining 0.4%, extending losses from the previous session. Traders continue to await quarterly results from Nvidia due after the closing bell, to assess if the AI-fueled rally can sustain its momentum. Shares of Nvidia were down about 1.5% in premarket trading. Microsoft (-0.6%),Meta (-0.5%) and Alphabet (-0.3%) were also in the red while Apple (0.2%) and Amazon (0.9%) were higher in premaket hours, with the latter set to join the Dow Jones Industrial Average effective next week. Meanwhile, Palo Alto sank more than 22% before the opening bell after company cut its full-year revenue guidance and shares of Analog Devices were also slightly lower (-0.5%) after the semiconductor maker gave a disappointing outlook. Traders will also await the FOMC minutes release later in the day for any further hints on when the Fed will start cutting interest rates.


Dollar Steadies Ahead of Fed Minutes

United States Currency

The dollar index cut early losses to trade little changed around 104.1 on Wednesday as investors await minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting to gauge the monetary policy outlook. On Tuesday, the greenback lost 0.3%, mirroring a fall in Treasury yields amid growing uncertainty about the timing and scale of monetary easing this year. The Fed is currently projected to keep rates unchanged in March and May but there is a 56% chance the central bank would cut borrowing costs by 25 basis points in June. Investors also look ahead to US PMI reports this week for clues on how well the private sector is coping with current conditions. The dollar weakened across the board, with the most pronounced selling activity seen against the Australian and New Zealand dollars.


Sensex Breaks 6-Day Winning Run

India Stock Market

The BSE index weakened in the final part of Wednesday's session to close at 72,623.1, halting its sixth-day winning streak, on the back of profit booking. Information technology companies and energy stocks were the main draggers. Meanwhile, traders awaited the release of US FOMC meeting minutes later today that would provide some clues into the Fed’s future monetary policy direction. Investors also anticipated the RBI's minutes meeting and manufacturing and services sector figures due later Thursday. In the meantime, global attention turns to Nvidia ahead of its quarterly earnings, at a time when investors are eager to find out if the company's results justify its high valuation.


UK Stocks Fall on Disappointing Earnings from HSBC and Glencore

United Kingdom Stock Market

The FTSE 100 declined by 0.5% on Wednesday, driven by disappointing earnings updates from major players like HSBC Holdings and Glencore. HSBC's stock plummeted by 6.6% due to below-expectation annual profits, while Glencore's dropped by 3.8% because of lower commodity prices and a reduced investor payout aimed at funding an acquisition. Rio Tinto was also down more than 1%. The poor performance of banking and mining sectors led to notable losses in the overall market, with financials down by 3.6% and base metal miners by 1.6%. On the other hand, Barclays rose nearly 2% to a near seven-month high. Despite Britain's record budget surplus in January, investors remained cautious, awaiting insights from the US Federal Reserve's meeting minutes for clues on future monetary policy direction and its potential impact on global markets.


Canadian Stocks Edge Lower to Start the Week

Canada Stock Market

The S&P/TSX Composite index edged down by 0.1% to close at the 21,217 mark on Tuesday, kicking off the trading week on a negative note and following the trend of its Wall Street counterparts. This occurred despite the prevailing optimism regarding potential interest rate cuts following January's inflation data, which came in well below expectations. The annual inflation came in at 2.9%, marking a significant decrease from the previous month's 3.4%. Banks led the gains while the technology weighed on the Toronto Exchange, experiencing average losses of 1.6%. In corporate news, Loblaw announced ambitious plans to invest over C$2 billion this year, which would create more than 7,500 jobs, leading to a 1% increase in its shares. SSR Mining, a gold miner, dropped 5.7% after its Copler gold mine's environmental permit was revoked. Aurora Cannabis plummeted 9.8% post-appointment of Simona King, a former Bristol Myers-Squibb executive, as its Chief Financial Officer.


Canadian Dollar Approaches 2-Month Low After CPI

Canada Currency

The Canadian dollar weakened past 1.35 per USD, approaching the two-month-low of 1.356 touched on February 13th despite broad-based weakness in the US dollar after a sharp decline in Canada’s inflation rate ramped up hopes that the Canadian economy is converging toward the appropriate backdrop for rate cuts by the BoC. Headline inflation fell to 2.9% in January, dropping considerably from 3.4% in the previous month and well below market expectations of 3.3%, while the closely watched BoC trimmed-mean core rate also retreated to its lowest in over two years. The result strengthened the argument for doves in the BoC’s Governing Council and increased the likelihood of the central bank’s first rate cut this cycle in the second quarter of the year as policymakers continuously warned that restrictive interest rates have already hampered the country’s aggregate demand.


Iron Ore Plunges to Near 4-Month Low


Prices for iron ore cargoes with a 63.5% iron ore content for delivery in Tianjin sank to below $125 per tonne in February, the lowest since early November, as the deepening rout in Chinese property markets pressed against hopes that the steel-heavy construction sector may recover any time soon. New surveys showed that new home sales in China plummeted by 34% from a year ago in January, highlighting the unwillingness of Chinese consumers to make large purchases and increasing the market’s pessimism over the impact that support measures from Beijing may have in an unlikely recovery. The PBoC cut its five-year loan prime rate by a record-high 25bps after the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations, the latest measure among a series of policy changes to ease mortgage restrictions. The pessimism countered previous expectations that steel mills could restock their iron ore inputs in late February as inventories eased.


Oil Falls for 2nd Session


Brent crude futures fell to below $82 per barrel on Wednesday, following a 1.5% loss in the previous session driven by concerns about interest rates and demand uncertainties outweighing geopolitical worries. The International Energy Agency's report highlighted a slowdown in global oil demand due to the increasing popularity of renewable energy sources. Investors are eagerly anticipating OPEC+'s decision in March on whether or not to extend output cuts into the next quarter. Recent data showed that Iraq, the second-largest producer in the group, exceeded its production quota. On a positive note, Russia met its export cut target for January as part of its commitment to the group. In the midst of these developments, Houthi militants in Yemen claimed responsibility for targeting two US ships with missiles in the Gulf of Aden. These attacks have stirred concerns about disruptions to shipping routes in the region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.