The ECB, Ukraine, and jobless claims are the market movers this morning.
A surprise Russian announcement yesterday that their army would be pulling back from the Ukrainian border had precious metals give up their safe haven bounce, and retreat to the levels they held before Ukraine went up in flames.
Janet Yellen’s promise that the Fed would keep on keeping on, as far as monetary policy is concerned, just reinforced the pullback.
The dollar fell below 79 on the DXY dollar index this morning, when the European Central Bank announced that benchmark interest rates would remain near zero, and delayed again any quantitative easing measures. This sent the euro to a fresh two-month high. The announcement by ECB president Mario Draghi that he would be “comfortable” starting the money printing press in June, if the new economic reports supported it, brought the euro off its spike and helped the dollar recover slightly.
In the U.S., first-time jobless claims for last week came in lower than expectations, countering some of the recently higher numbers. 319,000 new unemployment applications were filed last week, which is 26,000 fewer than the week before.
China posted better than expected import and export numbers today, which should help restore a little confidence as the central government continues with its plans to shift the nation’s giant economy from exports to domestic consumption. Beijing is using small stimulus measures aimed at specific sectors to prevent a recession while weaning large corporations and state-run enterprises off easy money.
Wall St. opened down but immediately moved into the green on the jobless numbers. Euro stocks were up on Draghi’s press conference, and stocks in Tokyo climbed on Yellen’s remarks and the Chinese economic numbers.
Precious metals are flat this morning after yesterday’s correction, while palladium seeing a slight gain. The next important economic reports will be Monday, with Chinese industrial production and retail sales.