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EU Harmonised CPI, foreign trade; trading update from Hannover Rueck

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Stock futures were tracking higher early Monday; Asian equities were mixed; The dollar edged higher; Treasury yields steadied; while oil futures gained and gold declined.


Stock futures were higher early Monday as investors brace for several central bank meetings in Europe and Asia will be the focus most notably on the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

U.S. stocks fell Friday, closing out another weekly loss after hotter-than-expected inflation data rattled markets.

"Interest rate sensitivity is coming back into the market," said Tim Courtney, chief investment officer at Exencial Wealth Advisors.

Though the Fed is broadly expected to keep interest rates unchanged this week, investors are looking for more clarity about when it could begin lowering rates.

Traders are pricing in a roughly 9% chance of a rate cut in May, down from about 24% a week ago, according to CME's FedWatch Tool.

The Bank of England is likely to keep its key rate at 5.25% and stick to previous guidance on March 21, though it could tweak its phrasing, Nomura analysts said.

Analysts and investors expect the Bank of Japan to raise its key short-term interest rate from minus 0.1% either in March or in April.

Meanwhile, data released earlier today showed that China's economic activity rebounded moderately in the first two months of the year, as industrial production and investment growth beat market expectations.


USD could trade better bid at the beginning of the week in Asia today, Maybank analysts said.

There's speculation on whether the Fed's dot plot due for release at the FOMC's March meeting could show two cuts instead of three, they said.


Further sharp JPY swings remain possible, given this week's event risks and USD/JPY is likely to struggle in front of 150.00 ahead of the BOJ decision, Westpac Strategy Group said.

While a BOJ shift away from its negative interest-rate policy seems highly likely, how this is delivered will be more important for possibly triggering another strong short-covering of JPY-funded trades, it added.


Treasury yields were steady after finishing mostly higher on Friday, handing the 10-year rate its biggest weekly advance in almost five months, as traders continued to absorb February's producer- and consumer-prices data.

While traders expect no rate action from the Fed on Wednesday, the central bank could adjust its forecast to imply only two, rather than three, quarter-point reductions this year.

Financial markets are also focused on Tuesday's policy update from the Bank of Japan, which is expected to exit negative rates and deliver a hike for the first time in 17 years, according to Nikkei Asia.


Oil prices gained early Monday with Brent crude oil appearing range-bound, BMI said.

Market participants were lacking conviction, with supply- and demand-side risks pulling prices in opposite directions, BMI said, adding that conflicting oil-price signals will probably stay a feature of the market in 2Q, as rising macroeconomic headwinds drag Brent crude oil to the downside, while elevated geopolitical risks keep it buoyed.


Gold edged lower ahead of the FOMC meeting later this week.

Last week's rally of the precious metal stopped after the release of hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation data, and "this is likely to see the Fed remain on hold until there is more evidence of inflation falling," ANZ said.

However, the precious metal is still close to the record high amid strong demand from China, it added.


Copper was steady after prices on Friday hit their highest level since April, supported by news that Chinese copper smelters may reduce their output due to falling processing and copper treatment charges, ANZ Research analysts said.

Markets increasingly believe the worst is over for the base metal, with higher demand for copper from renewables and electric vehicles countering worries over weak demand in China, they added.


Iron ore prices were slightly lower amid worries over China's property sector and little fresh news driving the market, although signs of persistent pressure from the ongoing property crisis were in focus, Westpac analysts said.

They also noted that major steel mills in Guangdong province will cut production "after local construction steel prices plunged."


China's Economic Activity Rebounded Moderately

China's economic activity rebounded moderately in the first two months of the year, as industrial production and investment growth beat market expectations, offering a reprieve for the country's top leaders who have been seeking to project confidence amid dented business and consumer sentiment.

Industrial output over the January-February period rose 7.0% from a year earlier, compared with a 6.8% increase in December, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. The reading was higher than the 5.0% growth expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The Fed's Challenge: Has It Hit the Brakes Hard Enough?

When the Federal Reserve began sharply raising interest rates two years ago, the prospect of mortgage rates hitting 7% terrified Dwight Sandlin, a home builder based in Birmingham, Ala. "I was scared to death. Scared. To. Death," he said.

He just booked his most profitable year ever.

Trump Economic Advisers Float Three Names for Fed Chair

WASHINGTON-Influential economic advisers to Donald Trump presented the former president with a shortlist of potential candidates to lead the Federal Reserve during a meeting at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida last week, according to people familiar with the matter.

In the Thursday meeting, Steve Moore and Arthur Laffer, who have long advised Trump on economic issues, recommended three candidates: Kevin Warsh, an economic-policy adviser to President George W. Bush who later served on the Fed's board of governors; Kevin Hassett, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Trump administration, and Laffer himself. Laffer, an economic adviser to former President Ronald Reagan, is one of the founding theorists of supply-side economics and a champion of the 2017 tax cuts Trump signed into law.

Gold Miners, Enjoying Record Prices, Are Wary of Hedging Their Bets

Record-high gold prices are driving big deals and investments in new mines. What they aren't doing is making companies hurry to lock in prices as protection against the market suddenly turning down.

Hedging-a practice that helps to guarantee a certain price for future output-is common among producers of commodities ranging from copper to natural gas. But it has been eschewed by the gold-mining industry after companies got caught on the wrong side of trades made during previous bull runs by the precious metal. In 2009, Canadian giant Barrick Gold bought out unprofitable hedges at a cost of more than $5 billion.

With second-quarter results around the corner, here are the stocks that analysts like the most

It's no secret that lots of analysts like tech behemoths like Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Nvidia Corp. amid the AI gold rush. But as of Friday, they liked one just a bit more, at least based on the percentage of 'buy' recommendations: Delta Air Lines Inc.

Granted, the three tech companies each have far more analysts who follow them than for Delta DAL. But according to a FactSet analysis published on Friday, 96% of the analysts who cover Delta had a buy rating on the stock, compared with 95% for both Amazon AMZN and Microsoft MSFT and 90% for Nvidia NVDA.

Netanyahu Rejects Schumer's Call for New Israel Elections as 'Totally Inappropriate'

WASHINGTON-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday sharply rejected Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's call for new elections in his country, dismissing the push as "totally inappropriate" and harmful to Israel's war against Hamas.

The comments are the freshest salvo in an escalating back-and-forth verbal exchange between senior Washington leaders and Israel's prime minister, who has attracted growing criticism from the Biden administration and many Democratic lawmakers over his handling of the conflict with Hamas amid international pleas to allow more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza.

Putin Wins Election That Had Only One Possible Outcome

Russian President Vladimir Putin secured a further six years in power after a carefully managed election that saw his most credible challengers sidelined, setting him on a path to matching Stalin as Russia's longest-serving leader.

His government pulled out all the stops to secure the win, which he claimed at a news conference in Moscow on Sunday at the conclusion of three days of voting. It came as no surprise. In the run-up to the vote, the Kremlin jailed critics, muzzled the press and introduced new laws to stamp out anything that could be considered criticism of his war in Ukraine. Putin's most effective opponent, Alexei Navalny, was gone, found dead in an Arctic prison camp last month where he was serving out sentences totaling 30 years in circumstances that haven't been fully explained.

ESPN Boss Jimmy Pitaro's Chaotic Race to Remake the Sports Giant

ESPN boss Jimmy Pitaro was keeping a big secret.

In January, Pitaro and executives at ESPN-parent Disney hosted a contingent of top NFL officials-including Commissioner Roger Goodell, and team owners Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones-at Disney's Burbank, Calif., headquarters to discuss a potential deal.

TikTok's American Growth Is Already Stalling

As TikTok fends off a new attack by Congress, it is also battling headwinds that have sapped its U.S. business of its mojo.

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