• Aussie markets scuppered last week, despite positive religious omens
  • Most sectors lower
  • The week ahead: Boring for Aussie data  


What grabbed the headlines last week?

Jesus returned from the dead last week, but the ASX did not. One out of two is usually okay, but not in this case.

The Easter shortened week was all the benchmark needed to give away more than 1.5%.

Lots of crossed lines in the States amping up the volatility.

Decent US economic data and doubtful rhetoric from the Fed made for choppy sailing and great waves of indecision.

Navigating our way through the safest likely path for rate cuts through 2024/5 is a tricky trade for even the most ancient of mariners.

Pre-Christmas, markets were pricing six rate cuts by the Fed this year which had been ratcheted back significantly, and up until recent weeks, the futures market was forecasting three cuts by the Fed in 2024, with the first move penciled in for June.

All that’s a bit of a write-off now.

Last week’s Fed-preferred PCE price index rose 0.3%, below analyst expectations.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the data was in line with the Fed’s expectations, which implies a meagre optimism.

On Wednesday night, J Powell then got all dovish, saying the Fed would wait and see before slicing and dicing.

On Thursday night, Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari decalred it’d be two rate cuts this year but that if inflation continues to stall, maybe it’ll just be none.

Mixed messages made for mixed business with US stocks shaken and stirred.

Finally, J. Powell got back up and dismissed the latest high inflation reads, suggesting we’re all on track for team-Fed to lower rates three times this year if prices ease as expected.

Total nonsense aside, Wall Street performed its familiar rebound on Friday, landing the technical feat like it was infused with the power of Megatech, which it was.

The Fed Chair reiterated the central bank was in no rush to reduce borrowing costs after leaving its policy rate unchanged in the current 5.25%-5.50% range last month.

The firmer-than-expected jobs report which boosted the USD and sent yields to their highest closing level this year, mattered for nought.

Still, for the week, the Dow Jones shed 903 points (-2.27%), the S&P500 lost -0.95% and the Nasdaq lost -0.80%.

On Friday in the States, US nonfarm payrolls increased by 303,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said in its employment report on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 200,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 150,000 to 250,000.


On the ASX…

The S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.6% for the week, with resources making a decent comeback after commodities slept.

The benchmark closed lower Friday, dropping 0.56% to 7,773.30.

The bottom performing stocks were Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) andCapricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) down 7.4% and 5.45% respectively.


The XJO has now gained 1.9% year-to-date…

Via Google


How the Sectors fared last week

Utilities and Energy caught the best of the action since Tuesday, finishing the week on healthy if unremarkable totals around +1.5% apiece.

But the biggest kicking was saved for IT, which saw more than 4.8% wiped off the bottom line as investors ran for safer havens – specifically, gold.

Via MarketIndex


The Week Ahead

  • We’ve got more central bank decisions in the EU, Canada, and NZ

  • Highlight will be the ECB – likely to signal a rate cut in June

  • In the States, CPI stats and the US Fed minutes


This where the Barclay’s global economics research team led by Christian Keller reckons we are as the week kicks off:

“Global growth is broadening, as the industrial cycle has turned, and China and Europe are accelerating, alongside a still-strong, jobs-driven US economy. Softer euro area inflation suggests that a June ECB cut is likely, but another upside surprise in next week’s US CPI could raise doubts about Fed cuts.”

Keller adds that while last week’s surprise downside in Euro area inflation was welcome, the main game remains this week’s US Core CPI read.

Via Barclays Research

In briefs: It’ll be a data heavy few days Stateside, with all the Ps and Is a trader could hope for.

US CPI, PPI and retail sales all drop for March along with a heavy side sauce of  FOMC meeting minutes.

Fedspeaking Fed Members Messrs Bowman, Goolsbee, Williams, Collins, Bostic, and Daly are scheduled to give speeches.

Finally, mainland China updates its first set of trade numbers post the Lunar New Year period. This comes after Caixin China PMI data revealed that exports orders expanded at the fastest rate in 13 months in March. Inflation figures will also be due, though more subdued price increases were observed by the PMI amid falling manufacturing sector costs.

Official economic data is thin on the ground at home.

Only new housing lending for February is due with our internal data pointing to a rebound of 4.5% following two consecutive falls.

CommBank also drops its Household Spending Insights report for March.

CBA says the headline index was 0.3%/mth lower in February with annual growth sitting at just 3.5%.


Q1 US Earnings Season

Can you even believe that US Q1 2024 earnings season kicks off Friday in New York with the usual guilty party of banks lining up to get the numbers out early.

JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, State Street, and Blackrock all set to overshare.

Josh Gilbert at eToro says earnings growth more important than ever.

“It remains a pillar of the current bull market we’re seeing in the US, and it becomes even more important given the second pillar of incoming rate cuts continues to be pushed back. The good news is that expectations are low, with 5% growth from the S&P 500, with communications, technology, and discretionary set to lead, growing earnings at an average of 22% in Q1.”

“However, this is a slowdown from the 38% these sectors saw last quarter. At the other end of the scale, energy and materials commodity sectors are set to see over 20% profit declines, whilst financials, which kick us off this week, are set to see slowing growth to 5%.”

Josh says Citigroup is the best-performing big bank of the S&P500 this year, with shares rising by more than 18% but Bank of America may be the standout on the back of solid investment banking fees and trading revenues in the quarter.


The Aussie Economic Calendar

Monday April 8 – Friday April 12


Australia Judo Bank SME Business Activity Report* (Mar)


Australia NAB Business Confidence (Mar)



CommBank Household Spending Insights, (Mar)



The Everyone Else Economic Calendar

Monday April 8 – Friday April 12

All sources: IG Markets, S&P Global Market Intelligence, CommSec 


Monday 8 Apr
Indonesia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia Market Holiday
Malaysia Industrial Production (Feb)
Germany Trade and Industrial Production (Feb)
Philippines BSP Interest Rate Decision
United States Consumer Inflation Expectations (Mar)

Tuesday 9 Apr
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Turkey, Saudi Arabia Market Holiday
Japan Consumer Confidence (Mar)
Taiwan Inflation (Mar)
Mexico Inflation (Mar)
United States S&P Global Investment Manager Index* (Apr)

Wednesday 10 Apr
Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Turkey, Saudi Arabia Holiday
Japan PPI (Mar)
New Zealand RBNZ Interest Rate Decision
Thailand BoT Interest Rate Decision
Taiwan Trade (Mar)
Brazil Inflation (Mar)
United States CPI (Mar)
Canada BoC Interest Rate Decision
United States Wholesale Inventories (Feb)
United States FOMC Minutes (Mar)

Thursday 11 Apr
India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia Market Holiday
Philippines Trade (Feb)
China (Mainland) CPI, PPI (Mar)
China (Mainland) M2, New Yuan Loans, Loan Growth (Mar)
Italy Industrial Production (Feb)
Brazil Retail Sales (Feb)
Mexico Industrial Production (Feb)
Eurozone ECB Interest Rate Decision
United States PPI (Mar)
OPEC Monthly Report

Friday 12 Apr
Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia Market Holiday
South Korea Unemployment (Mar)
Singapore GDP (Q1, adv.)
Philippines Industrial Production (Feb)
South Korea BoK Interest Rate Decision
China (Mainland) Trade (Mar)
Japan Industrial Production (Feb, final)
Germany Inflation (Mar, final)
United Kingdom monthly GDP, incl. Manufacturing, Services
and Construction Output (Feb)
United Kingdom Trade (Feb)
France Inflation (Mar, final)
India Industrial Production (Feb)
India Inflation (Mar)
United States UoM Sentiment (Apr, prelim.)
GEP Global Supply Chain Volatility Index* (Mar)