Being a full first week of the month means the typical early month economic data deluge. That includes the various global PMI’s Monday and Wednesday. Note that each of those will be one day later for the UK that is out on Monday for its annual Early Spring Bank Holiday.
Investors continued to trim risk exposure in the past week, dumping stocks and putting money to work in bonds, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) said on Friday, warning of a possible "summer of shocks" ahead.
U.S. futures are pointing to a negative open on Thursday, tracking losses in Europe and Asia overnight, as investors weigh up the slightly hawkish Fed statement on Wednesday and look ahead to the advanced first quarter GDP data.
A major Chinese commodities exchange took further steps to calm volatile markets on Wednesday, hiking transaction fees and widening trade limits in a move that could make exiting futures contracts more orderly. Iron ore and steel futures fell again in reaction to higher trading costs, brought in to deter speculative investors believed to be behind last week's spike in prices and volumes that had stoked fears of a destabilizing crash.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector likely expanded modestly in April for the second month in a row, a Reuters poll showed, adding to hopes that a prolonged downturn in the world's second-largest economy is easing. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index is expected to rise to 50.4 in April from 50.2 in March, according to a median forecast of 28 economists polled.
Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday, boosted by expectations that demand could grow quickly enough to match supply this year, although concern over a potential battle for market share between Saudi Arabia and Iran limited gains. Front-month Brent crude futures were up by 74 cents at $45.22 a barrel by 1340 GMT (8:40 a.m. ET). U.S. crude futures rose 76 cents to $43.40 a barrel.
Crude oil prices are trying to stabilize as traders and oil companies try to predict when oil production will find equilibrium with demand. There is a wide degree of different thinking on this topic, but I predict it will happen much sooner than people think. We’re faced with massive cap x cuts and plunging rig counts, as well as the inability to get capital to fund oil projects.
China's commodity exchanges are trying to cool their markets as benchmarks rallied rapidly this week, with turnover of a single rebar contract on Thursday worth nearly 50% more than the total value traded on the Shanghai stock exchange.
Spring is busting out all over, and so is gasoline demand. Low gas prices are causing a buying frenzy at the pump as gasoline demand in the month of March hit an all-time record high. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API) the lowest average price for regular unleaded gasoline in 12 years has Americans guzzling gas like never before.