Few expect Doha meeting will curb oil production

Share Markets:

With European markets closed for the Easter public holidays, markets in the United States were subdued overnight.

The Dow rose 0.1% and the S&P500 was flat. The Nasdaq was down 0.1%. Little direction was given by the US economic data which was mixed.

Interest Rates: 

The Fed's preferred gauge of inflation slowed in February dampening expectations of further US rate rises.

This saw US interest rates move marginally lower overnight. Ten year US government bond yields fell 2 basis points as did 3 month treasury bills. Three year US government bond yields were unchanged at 0.87%.

Foreign Exchange:

The US dollar index slipped as US interest rates nudged lower and the prospect for further rate hikes appeared to diminish.

The weaker US dollar saw the AUD move higher. The AUD was marginally weaker against the NZD.

Commodities:

Oil rose on the weaker US dollar but was flat in terms of other currencies. Expectations are low that an OPEC meeting in Doha in mid-April will curb oil output.

The price of copper was flat and gold was also little changed at $US1221 per ounce. The price of iron ore was a touch lower at $US55.76 per tonne, down from a recent high of $US63.74 per tonne in early March.

Australia: 

No major data released.

China:

Tickets for the June 16 opening day of Walt Disney Co.'s new theme park in Shanghai were sold out on its official ticketing website hours after going on sale at midnight on Monday.

The 963-acre park, Disney's sixth worldwide, is three times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland. The company plans to court 330 million Chinese, with rising purchasing power,  who live within a three-hour train or car trip of Shanghai.

United States:

US personal income rose only 0.2% in February, after rising 0.5% in January. Spending rose 0.1% although January was revised lower from 0.5% to 0.1%. The Fed's favoured inflation measure - the PCE (personal consumption expenditure) deflator - fell 0.1% in February, for a 1.0% gain over the year.

The core measure of inflation came in at 1.7% for the year and is on an upward trajectory, hence Fed comments regarding the potential for a higher Fed funds rate.

US Pending home sales jumped 3.5% in February while the Dallas Fed manufacturing activity rose from -31.8 to -13.6. 



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