The Day at a Glance | April 12 2024

The Top

*In China, March´s trade balance logged a slowdown compared to the January-February period of 2024.

*The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Susan Collins, is considering a couple of interest rate cuts this year amid expectations that it may still take some time for inflation to return to target levels.

*The United States, Japan, and the Philippines condemn Beijing’s moves in the South China Sea during summit.

*Inflation in Germany decreased to its lowest level in almost three years.

*The International Energy Agency cuts its forecast for oil demand due to weakness in the richest countries.

*US markets began today´s trading session in negative territory. 

Economic environment

In China, March´s trade balance logged a deceleration compared to the January-February period of 2024. China’s trade balance components recorded negative figures in March, following a good start to the year as they benefited from a low comparison base. On one hand, March´s exports fell by -7.5% y/y, a much deeper contraction than the -1.8% estimated by the analysts´ consensus (prev. 5.6%). On the other hand, imports disappointed by recording a negative -1.9% y/y change. Thus, the market was anticipating 0.7% y/y growth, which implies a less profound contraction compared to the previous period when imports logged a -8.2% decrease. Overall, China´s trade balance shows that Chinese exports receded noticeably in March, while imports unexpectedly contracted, falling far from market expectations, highlighting the difficult task facing authorities as they try to boost an unstable economic recovery.

Markets and companies

Global markets carry mixed sentiment. Main US indices closed yesterday’s trading session with losses and started the day in negative territory this morning. Stocks fell as major US banks kicked off the corporate earnings season, increasing concerns about inflation and geopolitical tensions. In Europe, markets record losses, with the Euro Stoxx falling as UK economic data and inflation in the United States are analyzed. In Asia, markets closed mixed after evaluating economic data from Singapore and South Korea. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up and stood at 39,523.55 points while China closed with losses at 3,019 points. Oil surpassed $87.00 per barrel after reports that Israel is preparing for a direct attack from Iran this weekend, which would be the most significant escalation of tensions in the Middle East since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas last October. Natural gas is down. Meanwhile, gold is on track to record its fourth consecutive week of gains due to geopolitical risks and economic concerns surrounding China. Lastly, cryptocurrencies are down.

The exchange rate fluctuated during the early hours, reaching a minimum of 16.42 and a maximum of 16.65 at 7:00 a.m., currently trading at 16.62.

Corporate news

*Wells Fargo’s shares fell around 0.5% after reporting its quarterly results.

*Citigroup rose more than 1% after surpassing revenue expectations.

*Apple rose 4.3% after announcing the company’s plans to refresh its Mac products with new chips focused on artificial intelligence.

*Nvidia also increased by 4.1%.

*Amazon reached a historic high before closing with a 1.7% increase.

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