We had comments from a few Federal Reserve officials over the weekend, Williams and Daly. Williams signaled that balance sheet reduction could begin next month (the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting is May 3-4) while Daly backed the prospect of a 50 basis point rate hike during the the May meeting (and probably more to come).
It was a public holiday in China today (and it’s still tomorrow) but there was a steady stream of news from the country as the coronavirus outbreaks worsened and the lockdown in Shanghai intensified . Chinese officials have once again reaffirmed that the “zero” policy remains in place with no exit plan. Medical personnel are flocking to Shanghai to help with efforts to fight the spread, including more than 2,000 from the People’s Liberation Army.
Also from China, we had an announcement over the weekend from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) removing a legal impediment to greater cooperation with US authorities on auditing Chinese listed companies. in the USA. More in the bullet points above. This should be a positive contribution for Chinese stocks (which will reopen to trading on Wednesday after the holidays) and indeed Hong Kong stocks gained during today’s session (ps. HK markets are closed for a public holiday on Tuesday. And also ps., HK CEO Carrie Lam announced today that she will not be seeking a 2nd term when her current term expires).
Movements across all currencies were quite limited. USD/JPY started off losing around 40 points but has since recovered all of that. EUR/USD is only up a few ticks on the session. The EU is considering tougher sanctions against Russia over its war and war crimes in Ukraine. AUD, NZD, CAD all gained a few points against the dollar. Oil and gold lost ground. Oil managed to chart much of its small slide.
Bitcoin surged above US$47,000 on Monday morning in Asia, but quickly turned around to fall back below US$46,000. It’s above $46,000 as I post.