Market Talk- April 4, 2018

The choppy conditions spread across all three sectors today with volatility from Australia to America. The only common theme today appeared to be volatility, resulting in the rejection of both large gains and losses! The ASX recovered from a very weak open, whilst the Shanghai index lost all gains to close down on the day. Even before the US cash market opened, DOW futures lost 700 points only to trade positive only a few hours later. The trade tensions are going to play-out headline by headline which is in no-ones interest. The longer Washington and Beijing take to settle their differences the headlines and volatility will persist. We still have until the end of May (and even then another 180days) before any measures come into force – so why worry over what may not even occur. Keep one eye on bonds and the other on currencies, these are larger markets and tend to see the real capital flows.

Europe reacted pretty much the same across the field with lows hit mid-morning then rallied with the US markets into the close. The UK’s FTSE did manage a positive (but only just +0.05%)
close but Sterling was lower on the day at that point. DAX was again hit the hardest with intraday losses exceeding 1.5% at one stage. Tech and exporters led much of the decline with real estate and auto’s following closely. On the currency front the Euro recovered early losses with a similar trading pattern to GBP. Oil remains heavy following yesterdays decline. Interesting the spread between Gold and Silver moving in opposing directions; picked-up precisely by the GMW on the Standard level service.

The early fears were rejected by midday and the NASDAQ was the first index to move into positive ground. Emotions appear to be running high but not really enough to take the bond market higher. Even in early trade with the DOW off 600 points the bond market hardly moved. Gold did see a $15 intraday rally but that also lost its legs by end of session and we were back to unchanged. Interesting to watch the comparison between the DOW and the S+P and NASDAQ. Although the industrials recovered with a 800 point bounce, it was the 1.5% additional gains for the S+P and NASDAQ that got people talking. The Tech stocks all helped (+2% to +3%) to add to enthusiasm as the rally gained momentum into the close. The talk that President Trump may soften on a key NAFTA point obviously helped but, as stated earlier – we play headline to headline. The expected correction occurred in January so now we await the low. This could possibly be already in but lets wait to see the numbers before jumping.

Japan 0.03%, US 2’s closed 2.29% (+1bp), 10’s closed 2.80% (+2bp), 30’s 3.04% (+2bp), Bunds 0.5% (u/c), France 0.72% (-2bp), Italy 1.73% (-6bp), Greece 4.04% (-17bp), Turkey 12.28% (+6bp), Portugal 1.6% (-1bp), Spain 1.15% (-2bp), and Gilts 1.37% (+1bp).