Powell easter 2

As traders (and central bankers too) look toward the long Easter weekend, starting with Good Friday tomorrow and Easter Monday in some countries on Monday, the markets closed the quarter with gains in stocks, gains in oil, yields higher, Bitcoin (and crypto) higher and the USD higher as well.

A snapshot of the Q1 numbers show:


  • S&P index, +10.16% (made new record highs)
  • NASDAQ Index +9.11% (made new record highs)
  • German DAX, +10.39% (made new record highs)
  • France CAC was 8.78% (made new record highs)
  • UK FTSE 100 +2.84% (still short of the record reached OnFebruary 16, 2023
  • Japan Nikkei 225, +20.3% (made new record highs)

Interest rates:

  • US 2-year yield, 4.628% +37.8 basis points
  • US 10 year yield, 4.206%, +34 Basis points
  • German 10 year yield 2.305%, +27.4 basis points
  • France 10 year yield 2.81%,+25.5 basis points
  • UK 10 year yield 3.946%, +40.7 basis points
  • Japan 10 year yield 0.705%, +8.0 basis points (at least they "discontinued" yield curve control even though they are still buying bonds)

For the central banks, in the quarter, the:

  • Bank of Japan raised rates for the first time in 17 years to 0.0% to 0.10%. It's a start.
  • Swiss National Bank cut rates unexpectedly by 25 basis points and became the first of the major countries to cut their rates.
  • Federal Reserve kept the dot plot steady at 3 cuts in 2024, but subsequently some Fed officials including Bostic and Waller seem to be in favor of dialing that number down for 2024. A summer cut is still on the table.
  • The ECB is on pace for a June cut
  • The Bank of England kept rates steady and lost the dissenters wanting a hike
  • Bank of Canada kept rates steady as did the RBA and the RBNZ.

Looking at the USD, it will trade tomorrow but for the quarter, the

  • DXY, +3.162%

The USD gained vs all the major currencies with the largest gain vs the JPY (despite the hike in rates in JPY) and the CHF (the CHF was lower after the rate cut by the SNB):

  • EUR, +2.28%
  • JPY, + 7.36%
  • GBP, +0.80%
  • CHF +7.14%
  • CAD, +2.23%
  • AUD, +4.31%
  • NZD, +5.42%

In other markets for the quarter:

  • Crude oil rose 16.08% or $11.52 to $83.17
  • Gold rose 8.21% or $169.42 to $2232.10
  • Silver rose By 4.88% or $1.16
  • Bitcoin rose from $42,258 to $70,858 or by $28,600 or 67.67%

Tomorrow although most major countries are on holiday, the US core PCE data will be released at 8:30 AM ET.

The foreign-exchange market never sleeps, but the major US stock indices and bond markets will be closed.

Wishing everyone - including Chair Powell - a Happy Easter and thank you for your support.