The strongest to weakest of the major currencies

As the North American trading session begins, the Japanese Yen (JPY) emerges as the strongest currency, and the US Dollar (USD) as the weakest. Key events in the financial markets include:

  • Support to Credit Suisse from the Swiss National Bank (SNB), but shares are down today at $2 as banks rebuff ideas of a takeover.
  • A consortium of US banks pledging around $30B in deposits to aid First Republic Bank. The shares are down today in premarket after the bank cut out the dividend. Shares trade at $29.46 in premarket trading after closing at $34.27 yesterday
  • The Fed announcing a $153B increase in discount window lending, exceeding 2008 banking crisis levels.
  • The new Bank Term Funding Program providing an additional $12B in lending. There is massive support being provided as to banks failed in one other is teetering.
  • The Bank of China cutting the reserve requirement ratio to 7.6%, the lowest since 2007.
  • The cut is in reaction to slower growth and China need to spur growth toward the target 5% growth rate for the year.

Economic data due for release later Friday:

  • Preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan. Estimate 67.0 versus 66.4 last.
  • Industrial and manufacturing production for February will be released at 9:15 AM. Industrial production is expected 0.2% while capacity utilization is expected at 78.4% (up from 78.3%.

Market updates:

  • Triple witching day may add volatility to the US stock market.
  • Major US stock indices are mixed in early trading, with the NASDAQ trading higher.
  • US yields are lower after sharp gains yesterday.

Oil prices:

  • Trading higher after hitting a low of $65.65 this week.
  • Saudi Arabia and Russia's oil ministers met to discuss crude market support.
  • Prices of crude oil down over 10% this week, the largest weekly decline this year.
  • The price of oil tested the key 200-week MA this week.
Crude oil
Crude oil tested 200 week moving averages week

A snapshot of the current market shows:

  • Gold trading up $13 or 0.68% at $1934.60.
  • Silver trading up $0.15 or 0.71% at $21.86.
  • WTI crude oil trading up $0.39 at $68.72.
  • Bitcoin trading higher at $26,928.

Premarket for US stocks:

  • Major indices are mixed after yesterday's sharp gains.
  • Dow Industrial Average -110.55 points after yesterday's 371.98 point rise
  • S&P index down 6.2 points after yesterday 68.37 point rise
  • NASDAQ index up up 27 points after yesterday's 283.22 point rise

European equity markets:

  • German DAX, -0.08%
  • Frances CAC, -0.15%
  • UK's FTSE 100, unchanged
  • Spain's Ibex, -0.44%
  • Italy's FTSE MIB -0.33%

For the trading week, the major European indices are all lower:

  • German DAX -3.04%
  • Frances CAC -2.83%
  • UK's FTSE 100 -4.39%
  • Spain's Ibex -4.69%

Asian-Pacific market:

  • Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 1.20%, down 2.88% for the week.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.64%, gaining 1.03% for the week.
  • China's Shanghai Composite index rose 0.73% today, 0.63% for the week.
  • Australia's ASX/S&P index rose 0.42% for the day but fell 2.1% for the week, marking the sixth consecutive week to the downside.

US debt market yields:

European debt market yields are lower following the ECB's 50 basis points rate hike, with ECB President Lagarde shifting future policy back to being data-dependent.