Thursday 23rd March 2023:  Fed Hike and Yellen’s Comments on Deposit Insurance Trigger Sell-off in Asian Markets

IC Markets No Comments

Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei down 0.05%, Shanghai Composite up 0.29%, Hang Seng up 1.48%, ASX down 0.67%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1979.70 (+1.54%), Silver at $23.12 (+1.47%), Brent Oil at $76.00 (-0.90%), WTI Oil at $70.16 (-1.04%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 3.447, UK 10-year yield at 3.483, Germany 10-year yield at 2.324

News & Data:

  • (USD) Federal Funds Rate 5.00% vs 5.00% expected
  • (GBP) CPI y/y 10.40% vs 9.90% expected

Markets Update:

Asian markets skidded on Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street after the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 25 basis points and dealt a blow to hopes it could cut them later in the year to soothe worries over the banking sector. The Fed also signalled no rate cuts on the horizon this year and warned that there needed to be more supervision and regulation of banks to prevent another crisis.

Recent turmoil caused by the collapse of two US lenders and the takeover of Credit Suisse had fanned speculation central banks would pause their inflation-fighting monetary tightening campaign. However, Fed boss Jerome Powell told journalists that “rate cuts are not in our base case” and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers that authorities were not looking at a blanket increase in deposit insurance for banks.

The market reaction was negative across the board, with Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul Sydney, Singapore, Manila and Wellington all down. However, Chinese and Hong Kong markets managed to turn it around, and traded higher by the second half. The banking sector was hit hard as Yellen’s comments spooked investors about the stability of deposits. US bank stocks plunged on Wednesday, dragging down the S&P 500 by 1.7%.

The Fed’s policy outlook is not only going to be ‘data dependent’ on inflation and jobs, but increasingly concerned about the potential stress in the banking sector and repercussions on the broader economy. The money market curve is now pricing in a 50% chance of a 25 basis point hike at the May FOMC before the Fed pauses.

Treasury yields plummeted as investors sought safety in bonds. The 10-year yield fell 18 basis points to 3.43%. Oil prices also fell back after a recent rise as traders fretted over the effect on demand from more rate hikes and a possible slowdown in economic activity. Gold prices edged higher as a weaker dollar and lower bond yields boosted its appeal as an alternative asset. The US dollar index slipped against a basket of major currencies as markets adjusted their expectations for future Fed moves.

Upcoming Events:

  • 07:00 AM GMT – (GBP) Retail Sales m/m
  • 08:15 AM GMT – (EUR) French Flash Services PMI
  • 08:15 AM GMT – (EUR) French Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 08:30 AM GMT – (EUR) German Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 08:30 AM GMT – (EUR) German Flash Services PMI
  • 09:00 AM GMT – (EUR) Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 09:00 AM GMT – (EUR) Flash Services PMI
  • 09:30 AM GMT – (GBP) Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 09:30 AM GMT – (GBP) Flash Services PMI
  • 12:30 PM GMT – (CAD) Core Retail Sales m/m
  • 12:30 PM GMT – (CAD) Retail Sales m/m
  • 12:30 PM GMT – (USD) Core Durable Goods Orders m/m
  • 12:30 PM GMT – (USD) Durable Goods Orders m/m
  • 01:45 PM GMT – (USD) Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 01:45 PM GMT – (USD) Flash Services PMI