What’s moving markets?

Oil, the dollar and the S&P stabilize ahead of key economic data this week

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 23 April 2024

Market open
  • Dollar holds near 5-month highs as rate cut expectations fade.

  • The S&P 500 inches higher post largest weekly loss since March 2023 last week on sticky inflation fears and higher for longer.

  • Oil prices stabilize amid Middle East tensions; Brent crude near $86.

In currencies

The dollar continued to hover near its highest levels in over five months, which were reached earlier in April. As expectations of immediate interest rate cuts continue to diminish.

Asian currencies faced downward pressure, while the USDCNY pair maintained relative stability near its highest level in five months. Despite worries regarding intervention, the USDJPY pair also remained steady around 155, with market participants exercising caution as they awaited the Bank of Japan's next moves.

Markets anticipate if claiming the 155 would trigger a sell off if the BoJ intervenes.

The S&P 500

The S&P 500 saw its largest weekly percentage loss since March 2023, falling below the significant threshold of 5,000 in last week's market correction, fuelled by persistent inflation in the US and higher interest rates for longer.

Additionally, the rise of geopolitical tensions, in the recent escalation between Israel and Iran, injected an additional element of uncertainty into the market, where investors headed over to safer assets, particularly gold and the dollar.

In commodities

Oil prices saw a slight increase following a decline in the previous session, with investors continuing to evaluate the impact of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Brent crude hovered near $86 down from $90 highs seen last week, while WTI gained 10 cents to $81.94.