European stocks have moved back into positive territory on Monday, having spent the early part of the trading session in the red, driven lower in part by commodity stocks. U.S. futures are currently in the green having also been lifted out of negative territory earlier on but may continue to waver in what could be a lower volume but volatile session, given how the day has started. This would also not be overly surprising with a shortened trading week in the run up to the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Oil is under pressure again today, building on Friday’s losses, which came as Baker Hughes revealed that the number of oil rigs in the United States rose last week for the first time since December. While the rise was marginal – only one in fact – it bucks the trend of declining rigs that has offered support to oil prices this year and driven expectations that production will fall and supply will fall more in line with demand. This is the first real test of oil bull' ability to drive a broader correction in price, with this news potentially sparking oversupply fears once again.
This week is looking a little quieter when compared with the last couple but there are a number of economic reports to come that should ensure they remain quite active. There’ll be particular focus on the UK this week with inflation and retail sales data due, while the U.S. brings GDP and durable goods numbers later in the week.
Today we’ll get existing home sales data from the United States for February, as well as consumer confidence survey for the eurozone. We’ll also hear from the Fed’s Jeffrey Lacker, a week after we learned of the central bank's intentions to raise rates only twice this year, down from the four times that they indicated at the December meeting.