The DAX index has posted considerable gains in the Thursday session. Currently, the DAX is trading at 12,027 points, up 0.73% on the day. In economic news, German unemployment change posted a strong decline of 19 thousand, beating the estimate of 15 thousand. German unemployment change posted a strong decline of 19 thousand, better than the estimate of 15 thousand.
The US economy continues to show strong expansion. Revised GDP for the third quarter came in at 2.9%, beating the estimate of 2.7%. This reading was revised upwards from the initial GDP estimate of 2.5%. Fourth quarter growth, although solid, could not keep up with a superb third quarter, which posted a gain of 3.2%. As for 2018, first quarter growth is expected to soften to 1.8%, but there is still a strong chance that the economy could hit 3% growth this year, as promised by US President Trump. The catalysts for such a rosy prediction are the massive tax cut and higher government spending. Where does this leave the Federal Reserve, which raised interest rates last week? Currently, the Fed is projecting to more rate hikes this year, but if the economy remains strong and inflation levels move closer to the Fed target of 2%, we could see four rate increases in 2018.
The tariff dispute between the US and China has shaken up global stock markets. Investors lost their risk appetite last week after President Trump’s dramatic announcement that he was imposing stiff tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports. China vowed to retaliate and slap imports on a range of US products. This move came on the heels of a blanket US tariff on steel imports. Although Trump backtracked and exempted Canada, Mexico and other countries from the steel tariffs, the threat of a global trading war has unnerved investors. This week, however, China was singing a more conciliatory tune, saying it would apply to the World Trade Organization to overturn the tariffs. The US has imposed the tariffs under a national security provision, but China has argued that the move is a trade barrier with the intent of protecting domestic producers. Although the dispute has not been resolved, the Chinese move has eased tensions and restored investor risk appetite this week, in the hope that both the US and China policymakers will climb down from their trees and reach some agreement instead of slapping tariffs on each other.
Thursday (March 29)
- All Day – German Preliminary CPI. Estimate 0.5%
- 3:55 German Unemployment Change. Estimate -15K. Actual -19K
*All release times are DST
*Key events are in bold
DAX, Thursday, March 29 at 7:15 EDT
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