Near quarter end, Japan, China rein in buck

A look at the day ahead in US and global markets from Mike Dolan

The holiday-free final week of the quarter began with turmoil in financial markets, with the dollar rising on concerns about Japanese and Chinese action to increase yen and yuan listings.

As most Western markets approach the Easter break, investors may be looking at a fairly encouraging first quarter, which saw Wall St. stocks hit new records and gains led by a handful of megacap tech names led by other sectors. And has also spread throughout the world.

While both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up more than 10% so far this year, the equal-weighted S&P500 – which adjusts for the impact of giant stocks like the ‘Magnificent Seven’ megacap tech leaders – is also up 6%. Japan’s Nikkei is up 13%, while MSCI’s all-country index is up more than 7%.

The retrenchment of some Big Tech leaders this year amid growing antitrust measures on both sides of the Atlantic only serves to underline the impressive gains of the broader indexes.

Central bank meetings last week have led everyone to believe that interest rate cuts are on the way by the end of the second quarter and foreign policymakers will at least match the Federal Reserve’s shocks – such speculation led to the dollar falling last week. I jumped.

China’s renminbi suffered notable losses on Friday as the offshore yuan fell to a 2024 low. But suspicious selling of the dollar by state-owned banks on Monday and a strong official guidance from the country’s central bank have steadied the ship, even if the offshore unit is still about 0.5% weaker than Thursday.

Even in Japan – where the Bank of Japan ended its negative interest rate policy last week – the slipping yen seems to have a chance to gain a foothold below 152 per…

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