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Commentary for 3/21/2018

A;tavest Commentary for 03/21/2018

Asian markets settled mixed. The Nikkei 225 was closed for a holiday. The Shanghai Composite slipped, losing -0.27%.
The German government’s council of economic advisers raised their 2018 forecast for GDP to +2.3% from +2.2%. They added that a move by the ECB away from its current accommodative monetary policy was “overdue.” European equities finished mostly lower. The DAX was up +0.01%. Yields on 10-yr. Bunds rose to 0.594%.
The Q4 Current Account Balance was close to expectations at -$128.2B. February Existing Home Sales were strong at 5.540M. Last night the API reported a surprise draw in crude inventories of -2.7M barrels. This morning the EIA was almost identical at -2.6M barrels. As expected, the Fed raised rates to 1.625%..
Yields on 10-Year Notes were flat at 2.885%. The US$ Index weakened. April gold was up +0.7% to $1321.50. May crude jumped +2.6% to $65.17.
After a shaky start, equities rallied, led by the small-cap Russell 2000, but enthusiasm moderated heading into the rate announcement with sideways trading. After the announcement, markets swung wildly in both directions before settling mostly lower.

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