Market commentary: Fed declares improved optimism for US economy, job market

Markets traded higher overnight as Greece and oil continue to take centre stage. Today marks the last trading day for January and perhaps it is good to analyse how markets fared so far. On the equity front, the DAX index is up an impressive 9.51% year to date.

This is followed closely by the Euro Stoxx 50 and the CAC who are up 7.16% and 8.39% respectively. Looking at credit, the best performer was sterling investment grade credit, followed by US Investment grade bonds. US equities are trading in the red year to date.

Sovereign yields were down across the board with the exception of Switzerland that at the time of going to print is up by a couple of points on a year to date basis. Much of the lowering yields can be attributed to the full blown QE program that was announced by the ECB earlier this month.

The themes that were the main drivers for the markets so far were Greece, Oil, the Fed and the delivery of a Quantitive Easing program that has been widely anticipated by the markets and delivered by President Draghi. Really, a continuation of his famous “whatever it takes speech”.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Fed has declared improved optimism about the US economy and the job market, yet it stated that the central bank will remain “patient” when it comes to raising rates. 

Yesterday’s news was characterised by Greece and media hinted that Greece may not agree to further sanctions to Russia. In a meeting of foreign ministers, the EU did not impose further sanctions on Russia, but extended the existing sanctions that include travel bans and asset freezing.

Greece showed its support to the Euro group, but was not left of the hook very easily as a senior member of Merkel’s party gave the country a telling off for trying to use this veto power for more bargaining power in negotiating their bailout.

In Italy, another story is developing as politicians failed to elect a president in the first round of votes. Voting will continue until a result is reached and this may mean going to a fourth and fifth ballot.

In terms of data for the day, out of US we will await for the GDP annualized figures on a quarter by quarter basis and personal consumption figures. The University of Michigan will also publish its sentiment index today.

On the corporate front, Chevron and Master Card will report results today.

This article was issued by Darin Pace, Treasury Manager at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt . The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri & Co. Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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