Šeštadienis, 15 birželio, 2024
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US Market Analysis: Fed Chair Powell’s Remarks Drive Volatility

Major US stock indexes ended the week on a positive note as investors closely monitored Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s remarks at the Jackson Hole Summit. Powell’s speech, which touched upon economic data, inflation, and future rate hikes, sent ripples through the financial markets. In this article, we’ll delve into the key takeaways from Powell’s speech and its impact on various asset classes.

Powell’s Remarks at Jackson Hole

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell addressed the Jackson Hole Summit, where he highlighted several crucial points:

  1. Resilient Economic Data: Powell acknowledged that the US economy had displayed remarkable resilience throughout the summer, with economic data surpassing expectations. This sentiment was reflected in the markets.
  2. Inflation Target: Powell emphasized the Federal Reserve’s commitment to bringing inflation back to its 2% target. He indicated a willingness to raise interest rates further to achieve this goal.
  3. September Outlook: Powell hinted that in September, interest rates would remain unchanged. This decision would allow the Fed to assess incoming data, the evolving economic outlook, and potential risks before making any policy adjustments.

Stock Market Reactions

The stock market reacted with a mix of positive and negative movements. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 247 points, reflecting investor confidence in Powell’s remarks. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both posted gains of 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively, signaling a positive market sentiment.

Notable Stock Performances:

  • Affirm’s stock soared by an impressive 28.8% following upbeat earnings and revenue reports.
  • Workday witnessed a 5.4% jump, also driven by strong financial results.
  • Gap recorded a 7.1% gain despite delivering mixed quarterly results.
  • Nordstrom, however, slid 7.7% despite posting upbeat results.
  • Marvell Technology faced a 6.6% decline after providing a cautious outlook for the future.

Weekly Market Overview:

  • The Dow Jones closed the week with a slight dip, losing 0.4%.
  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq managed to end the week on a positive note, gaining 0.2% and 1.1%, respectively.

Commodity Markets

WTI Crude Oil. WTI crude oil futures reached $80 per barrel but marked a second consecutive week of decline. This was attributed to a weakening demand outlook and a strengthening US dollar. OPEC+ supply cuts, extended by Saudi Arabia and Russia into September, continued to support the market.

Rising prices of Russian crude sold to China were expected to peak soon, potentially leading independent refiners to switch to cheaper oil from Iran.

US Market Analysis: Fed Chair Powell's Remarks Drive Volatility
Oil price

Platinum Futures. Platinum futures rebounded to approximately $935 per ounce from a 10-month low observed on August 16. The rise was attributed to expectations of increased demand for automobiles in China, driven by economic support measures. Stricter emissions standards in China are expected to boost autocatalyst demand, requiring more platinum loading.

Supply constraints in the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) market, primarily related to power issues in South Africa, have further supported platinum prices. The World Platinum Investment Council anticipates a significant deficit of 983,000 ounces in 2023, the highest level recorded since the 1970s.

Currency Markets

Canadian Dollar. The Canadian dollar depreciated below the 1.36 per USD level, reaching a three-month low. Factors contributing to this decline included the strength of the US dollar following Powell’s comments and a significant trade deficit in Canada. Despite the depreciation, Canada saw an annual inflation rate that exceeded expectations in July, leaving room for potential rate hikes by the Bank of Canada.

Japanese Yen. The Japanese yen weakened beyond 146 per USD, reaching its most vulnerable level since November 2022. This depreciation was driven by investors flocking to the US dollar following Powell’s announcement of potential rate hikes. Anticipation that the Bank of Japan would maintain its ultra-easy monetary policy throughout 2024 also contributed to the yen’s decline.

British Pound. The British pound extended losses below the $1.26 mark, touching its lowest level since June 12. Powell’s statements on potential rate hikes in the US and weaker-than-expected PMI data in the UK both influenced this decline.

Conclusion

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks at the Jackson Hole Summit had a notable impact on various financial markets. While the stock market responded positively, commodity and currency markets experienced volatility. The future direction of these markets will likely be influenced by evolving economic data and central bank policies in the coming months.

Signals

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US Market Analysis: Fed Chair Powell's Remarks Drive Volatility
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