Overseas Headlines- March 03, 2017


Dollar retreats after bullish week
The dollar stalled after two days of strong gains on Friday, with nerves around a speech by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen due later in the day adding to the handful of factors that have held back a broader rally this year. The greenback is up around 1 percent this week, its fourth straight weekly gain on the trot, but a sour January means it is still well below highs hit on the back of optimism about the shape of Donald Trump’s presidency in December. This week’s driver has been a swing in market expectations toward a swift rise in Federal Reserve interest rates on March 15. That is all but fully priced in to money markets, compared to a 30 percent probability a week ago and less than 20 percent a week before that – yet the dollar is still short of even last month’s highs against the euro and yen. "The developments are clearly supportive for the US dollar, but it has strengthened only modestly so far," said Derek Halpenny, head of global market research with Japan’s MUFG in a report listing nine reasons why the greenback was not rising faster.


German Bund yield set for biggest weekly rise since U.S. election
Germany’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield was set for its biggest weekly rise since November’s U.S. election on Friday on growing talk of a March U.S. rate rise, rising euro zone inflation and an easing of jitters over elections in France. Several Federal Reserve officials have made the case this week for another interest rate rise soon, prompting investors to ratchet up expectations for a move at the Fed’s March 14-15 meeting. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is due to speak later on Friday and could reinforce talk of an imminent rate rise that has sent two-year Treasury yields this week to their highest levels since August 2009. Also, data this week showing euro zone inflation has jumped above the European Central Bank’s target of close to but below 2 percent has reinforced a view that a pick-up in price pressures and economic growth will make it harder for the ECB to maintain the ultra-loose monetary policy that has long supported bond prices.


China Provides Calm for Markets Ahead of Potential Fed Rate Hike
While the world’s attention has been gripped by politics in the U.S. and Europe in recent weeks, China has been quietly cementing its newfound influence on financial markets. In a week when U.S. Federal Reserve officials surprised investors by putting an interest-rate hike on the table for the March 14-15 policy meeting, emerging markets have taken those signals in stride. That’s a big change from May 2013, when the prospect of tapering the Fed’s quantitative easing saw a disorderly exodus of capital from those markets.