Even the middle of April still tends to be firm on early quarter investment inflows and quarterly corporate earnings report responses. It is no secret that 70% of all corporate earnings reports beat estimates each quarter regardless of economic conditions. That is due to downbeat original estimates, where earnings reports are then predictably a bit better than expected. The current Q1 2016 reports have been very typical in that regard.
Central bankers usually worry about when to remove the punch bowl of cheap finance but when they gather in Washington, D.C. this week they will face a different problem: how to force the world to drink.
All eyes in financial markets were on an appearance by Janet Yellen on Thursday after meeting minutes showed the U.S. Federal Reserve is still far from another rise in interest rates, driving the dollar to its weakest against the yen in 17 months.
World stocks fell for the first time in four days on Thursday, the final day of a roller-coaster first quarter that has hammered the dollar and the pound but has proven the best in decades for gold and bonds.