Market Wrap: 6 March 2023

Market Wrap: 6 March 2023

Europe, US Futures Rise; Commodities Fall on China:

  • China’s growth target disappoints, reducing bets for stimulus
  • Asian equities gauge rises; Chinese shares fall, as does oil

European and US equity futures advanced with Asian shares in a rally that was tempered by China’s modest economic growth target.

Gains in Asia were led by Japan and South Korea, where benchmark indexes rose about 1%, following the lead from Wall Street on Friday. US stocks ended the week on a high note, driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve won’t raise interest rates beyond peak levels already priced in.

Shares shook of earlier declines in Hong Kong while those on the mainland remained lower as investors digested the implications of China’s goal of growth around just 5%. Investors saw this as a sign that policymakers in Beijing are unlikely to employ any large-scale stimulus.

This set the tone for commodities from iron ore to copper, which slid together with oil on expectations that demand may be softer than previously expected. 

Government bond yields declined in Australia and New Zealand, tracking moves in Treasuries on Friday, when the rate on 10-year US debt closed back below the closely watched 4% level. Treasuries were little changed Monday in Asia. A gauge of dollar strength fluctuated after a small rise earlier.

Investors will continue to watch moves in Chinese equities closely for indications on the resilience of the recent upward momentum seen in the nation and more broadly across Asia. A gauge of Asia’s equities rallied 1.5% last week after a near 6% slump in February.

A rally in the S&P 500 Friday helped snap a three-week losing streak while the Nasdaq 100 scored its best day since early February. Sentiment remained upbeat despite a report showing resilience in the service sector, as some investors wagered the impact of the Fed’s hikes on the economy would be delayed. A measure of prices paid by service providers showed costs rising at a slower pace, which was cheered by traders.


“Rates are going to be higher for longer so we don’t think the strength you’re seeing in the equity market is going to be sustainable in the back half of the year,” Nadia Lovell, UBS Global Wealth Management senior US equity strategist, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We do think you’re going to see a drag on the economy that has implications for corporate earnings.”

This week brings a slew of key economic data and events for investors to consider. In Asia, eyes remain on the National People’s Congress in Beijing for any further policy announcements and details that may set the tone for how market friendly — or harsh — regulation will be through 2023. Australia’s interest rate decision will be in focus Tuesday and on Friday comes the last Bank of Japan policy decision under the current governor Haruhiko Kuroda.


Globally, traders will be watching the US non-farm payrolls report for clues on whether the economy can handle more rate hikes. Data last week showed continued labor-market resilience in the US, supporting the case for the Fed to stick to its tightening policy, a theme that had pushed almost every major asset into the red in February. Investors will also be glued to their screens when Fed Chair Jerome Powell speaks before Senate and House committees this week.

Key events this week:

  • US factory orders, durable goods, Monday
  • US wholesale inventories, consumer credit, Tuesday
  • Fed Powell’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking Committee, Tuesday
  • Australia rate decision, Tuesday
  • Euro area GDP, Wednesday
  • US MBA mortgage applications, ADP employment change, trade balance, JOLTS job openings, Wednesday
  • Fed Chair Powell’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the House Financial Services Committee, Wednesday
  • Canada rate decision, Wednesday
  • EIA crude oil inventories, Wednesday
  • China CPI, PPI, Thursday
  • US Challenger job cuts, initial jobless claims, household change in net worth, Thursday
  • Bank of Japan policy rate decision, Friday
  • US nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, monthly budget statement, Friday



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