Inflationary pressures are easing in New Zealand. Today, the focus of investors is directed to the BoC meeting

<p><strong>By <a href=";utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=analytics_market_overview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">JustMarkets</a></strong></p>
<p>At Tuesday&#8217;s stock market close, the Dow Jones Index (US30) was down by 0.25%, while the S&amp;P 500 Index (US500) added 0.29% yesterday. The NASDAQ Technology Index (US100) closed positive by 0.43%.</p>
<p>Economic news from the US on Tuesday was weaker than expected. The Richmond Fed&#8217;s January index of current conditions in the manufacturing sector unexpectedly fell by 4 to a 3-year low of negative 15, weaker than expectations of a rise to negative 8.</p>
<p>Markets are discounting the odds of a 25 bps rate cut at 3% at the next FOMC meeting on January 30-31 and 48% for the same 25 bps rate cut at the March 19-20 meeting. As recently as a week ago, the probability of a rate cut in March was 60%.</p>
<p>Verizon Communications (VZ) shares are up more than 6% after its 2024 adjusted EPS forecast beat consensus. The Dow Jones Industrials Index spent the day in negative territory as shares of 3M Co. (MMM) closed down more than 11% after its 2024 adjusted earnings forecast came in below consensus.</p>
<p>The Bank of Canada (BoC) will hold its first monetary policy meeting of the year today. Like other G10 central banks, the Bank of Canada is not yet ready to cut rates. The BoC is expected to keep rates at 5%. Policymakers continue to talk about their willingness to &#8220;raise rates further if necessary,&#8221; and inflation continues to rise faster than desired. But for the March meeting, the probability of keeping the rate on hold has fallen from 100% to 66% over the past week, so investors&#8217; main focus will be on the monetary policy report, where the BoC&#8217;s new projections will be unveiled, and on Bank Governor Macklem&#8217;s remarks at the post-meeting press conference. The focus should be on the GDP and inflation forecasts. If the GDP forecast turns out to be positive and the inflation forecast is down, it could put pressure on the Canadian dollar, as it will increase the probability of a rate cut at the March meeting. But we should not forget that the Canadian dollar is a commodity currency and is highly correlated with oil prices. Taking into account the aggravation of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, the growth of oil prices may further stimulate the growth of the Canadian dollar or keep the CAD from excessive decline.</p>
<p>Equity markets in Europe were mostly down on Tuesday. Germany&#8217;s DAX (DE40) fell by 0.03%, France&#8217;s CAC 40 (FR40) lost 0.34% yesterday, Spain&#8217;s IBEX 35 (ES35) decreased by 1.09%, and the UK&#8217;s FTSE 100 (UK100) closed negative by 0.03%.</p>
<p>The Eurozone Consumer Confidence Index for January unexpectedly fell by 1.0 to negative 16.1, which was weaker than expectations of a rise to negative 14.3. Today, manufacturing PMI and service PMI statistics for many European countries will be released. These data will show how business activity, which was in contractionary territory in most countries at the beginning of the year, is progressing. A slight improvement in the business activity indicators is forecast.</p>
<p>On Wednesday, Germany&#8217;s Ifo Institute downgraded its economic growth forecast for 2024 again, citing uncertainty caused by changes to the federal budget triggered by a constitutional court ruling. The institute now expects Europe&#8217;s largest economy to grow by 0.7% this year instead of 0.9%.</p>
<p>Asian markets traded mixed yesterday. Japan&#8217;s Nikkei 225 (JP225) decreased by 0.08%, China&#8217;s FTSE China A50 (CHA50) was down by 0.78%, Hong Kong&#8217;s Hang Seng (HK50) jumped by 2.63% by Tuesday&#8217;s close, and Australia&#8217;s ASX 200 (AU200) was positive by 0.51%.</p>
<p>Alibaba Group (BABA) led the Hang Seng gains, rising by 5% following reports that co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai purchased shares of the largest e-commerce company totaling $200 million in the fourth quarter.</p>
<p>Japan&#8217;s exports rose at the fastest pace in a year last month, raising the likelihood that the economy will resume growth in October-December. Exports rose by 9.8% in December from a year earlier, the biggest jump in a year and reversing a 0.2% drop in the previous month. Imports fell by 6.8% compared to economists&#8217; forecast of a 5.4% decline. The data suggests that external demand will have less of an impact on the economy in the fourth quarter, contributing to the recovery.</p>
<p>Consumer inflation in New Zealand in the fourth quarter was in line with expectations. Annual inflation was 4.7% in the fourth quarter, slower than the 5.6% in the third quarter. Inflation is now at its lowest level since mid-2021. However, some closely watched indicators of underlying inflationary pressures were stronger than the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) had forecast. Non-traded inflation was 5.9% rather than 5.7%, and the core reading, which excludes the most significant ups and downs, was around 5%. Therefore, despite the obvious weakness in the New Zealand economy, most analysts expect the Reserve Bank to maintain its hawkish stance.</p>
<p>S&amp;P 500 (US500)<b> 4,864.60</b> +14.17 (+0.29%)</p>
<p>Dow Jones (US30)<b> 37,905.45</b> −96.36 (−0.25%)</p>
<p>DAX (DE40)<b> 16,627.09</b> −56.27 (−0.34%)</p>
<p>FTSE 100 (UK100)<b> 7,485.73</b> −1.98 (−0.03%)</p>
<p>USD Index <b> 103.53</b> +0.16 (+0.20%)</p>
<div>News feed for 2024.01.24:</div>
<li>– Australia Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 00:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Australia Services PMI (m/m) at 00:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Japan Trade Balance (m/m) at 01:50 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Japan Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 02:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Japan Services PMI (m/m) at 02:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Germany Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 10:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Germany Services PMI (m/m) at 10:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 11:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Eurozone Services PMI (m/m) at 11:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– UK Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 11:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– UK Services PMI (m/m) at 11:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– US Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 16:45 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– US Services PMI (m/m) at 16:45 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Canada BoC Interest Rate Decision at 17:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Canada BoC Monetary Policy Report at 17:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– US Crude Oil Reserves (w/w) at 17:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Canada BoC Press Conference at 18:00 (GMT+2).</li>
<p><strong>By <a href=";utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=analytics_market_overview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">JustMarkets</a></strong></p>
<p><i>This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, and/or a guarantee, and/or a forecast of future events.</i></p>

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