The ECB Meets in Frankfurt

UNITED STATES

US Stocks traded in the red with the DOW having the largest losses of 0.71% while the NASDAQ and the S&P lost 0.56% and 0.61% respectively. March CPI rose 0.4% MOM and 1.8% YOY largely due to increases in gasoline prices with Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida noting that inflation “is running close to our 2% objective” even with joblessness at a 50-year low. The yield on 10Y USTs lost slightly to close at 2.49%.

ASIA

Asian stocks ended their green streak in early morning trading with the Topix down 0.7%, the Hang Seng shedding 0.3% and the CSI 300 losing 0.2% as industrial companies slid. This comes in the wake of IMF’s World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday as the institution cut its global growth outlook pointing to the threat of increased US-China trade tensions.

UNITED KINGDOM

Prime Minister Theresa May appears to have been unofficially granted the extension she was seeking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisting the UK needs time to agree on an orderly exit even if it meant extending to early 2020. At home, her grip on the party is weakening with nearly a third of Tory MPs voting against her plan to delay Brexit. The GBP traded slightly lower against the USD At 1.3052 and yield on 10Y UKTs followed suit to close slightly lower at 1.102%.

EUROPEAN UNION

The ECB meets in Frankfurt today under mounting economic gloom. Bloomberg Economics says that although economic outlook hasn’t deteriorated to call for major stimulus steps, lower TLTRO costs may help banks and support growth with June being a more likely month for that move. ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to focus on rising price pressures and re-stress that the slowdown is seen as temporary, with risks skewed to the downside. The Euro traded flat against the USD at 1.1263 while the yield on 10Y DBR fell to -0.0111%.

CEEMEA

With 97% of votes tallied, Benjamin Netanyahu is set to take fifth term in office. While his Likud party and his closest rival Benny Gantz’ Blue and White bloc each won 35 seats, together with other right wing and religious partners the Netanyahu bloc secured 65 seats of the 120 seat Parliament. Netanyahu still faces charges on corruption cases with Attorney General Avihai Mandelbit maintaining that he intends to charge him post-elections.

KSA

Saudi Aramco picked up orders of more than $100 billion for its debut bond sale, eclipsing the $12 billion it issued. The strong demand for the offering, which is in five portions from 3 to 30 years, allowed borrowing at a lower yield than Saudi sovereigns with 10Y notes yielding just 105bps above USTs.

LATAM

According to Larry Kudlow, of the White House National Economic Council, the US is putting contingency plans in place to support Venezuela but pumping cash into their economy, provided Maduro is removed from power. He went on to suggest that the US is planning a sweeping economic rescue package for Venezuela.

The threat posed by the US/Mexico border closure has sent avocado prices soaring as importers are stockpiling in anticipation of the border shutdown.