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Investors hope for new clues from Fed Chairman Powell

Investors were cautious ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's highly anticipated two-day hearing before Congress. The Fed President's remarks, ahead of the interest rate decision due in two weeks, are likely to be put on the gold scale by investors. Australia's central bank, meanwhile, raised its key interest rate by another quarter percentage point to its highest level since June 2012. 

Alessandro Fezzi, LGT
Reading time
5 minutes
US dollar bill with Federal Reserve signa

On the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones Industrial remained virtually unchanged at the start of the week, closing 0.12% higher at 33,431.44 points. The S&P 500 closed at 4,048.42 points (+0.07%) and on the Nasdaq, the indices gained about 0.1%. The benchmark yield on ten-year US government bonds climbed from 3.95% to 3.97% and remains close to the four percent mark. 

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region trended mixed, as investors here are also eagerly awaiting Fed Chairman Powell's statements. In Australia, the central bank tightened its key interest rate by another 25 basis points to 3.6%, the highest level since mid-2012. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney was up about 0.5%. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 traded 0.4% higher and in Seoul, the Kospi rose around 0.3%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.7% and in mainland China, the Shanghai Composite climbed marginally, while the Shenzhen Component slipped 0.6%. Here, the focus was on the latest data on China's foreign trade. Chinese exports at the beginning of the year (in US dollars) fell by 6.8% year-on-year and imports slumped by as much as 10.2%.

Europe's stock exchanges started the new week with confidence and the EuroStoxx 50 benchmark index marked its highest level since the beginning of 2022. By contrast, the latest survey data from the German financial market analysis company Sentix showed that the assessment of the financial experts surveyed regarding the prospects for the German and European economies deteriorated in March for the first time in several months. Economic expectations clouded over noticeably, while the assessment of the current situation improved slightly. The overall situation remains fragile, commented Sentix.

Corporate news in focus today: Lindt & Spruengli, Zalando and Henkel with annual figures. Novartis Annual General Meeting and Roche's annual media call.

Economic data in focus today: Germany incoming orders industry for January (08:00 CET) and in the US the hearing of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell before the Senate Banking Committee (16:00).

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Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi,
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

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