Podcast: US consumer confidence and Personal Consumption Expenditure data plus Eurozone inflation.

Created: 26th February 2024

So, what do we know?

(A forex, index, and commodity market review)

Sentiment and some extraordinarily strong corporate results continue to drive equities higher last week. Whilst US markets continue to break into record high ground, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index finally broke through its all-time highs and the Stoxx Europe 600 also broke all time highs.

Weekly change (amount change and percentage change on the week)


FTSE Unchanged

DAX +338 +1.97%

DOW +549 +1.42%

S&P +88 +1.76%

NASDQ +263 +1.49%

NIKKEI +1,177 +3.08%

Hang Seng +362 +2.21 %


A week of record highs in some major stock markets at a time when central bankers and analysts continue to caution that the battle with inflation is far from over. The minutes from the last FOMC meeting were a reality check for the markets which have continued to adjust their inter rate expectations down in line with Fed opinion. Despite expectations now that US interest rates will not be cut until at least the June 12th meeting, both the S&P500 and NASDAQ indices hit record highs as the bullish run so far this year continues.

Results from Nvidia, was a stand-out moment last week as the chip manufacturer released its much-anticipated Q4 earnings. Forecasts had been raised in anticipation of a strong set of numbers, but the 265% jump in quarterly revenues exceeded those lofty expectations as the almost manic interest in AI pushed sales sharply higher. Whilst Nvidia did not plan for the AI revolution when designing its H100 AI chips, the frenzy as major tech companies rush to buy these chips. An astonishing order from Meta for 350,000 of these chips with a potential gross value of $15 Bln, before discounts, underscores the NVidia’s prospects. The results propelled the Nvidia stock up 16%, pushing its capitalisation up to $2 Trln, higher than Amazon and Meta, behind Apple and Microsoft.

European equities also had their day in the sun as the Stoxx Europe 600 made new highs, propelled by a similar small group of equities, referred to as the “Granolas” by analysts, which are responsible for a sizeable portion of gains this year.

The Japanese Nikkei finally broker through its all-time highs established in the mad asset bubble of the late 1980’s. The last time the Nikkei was at these levels was in late 1989, 34 years ago, when assets prices were surging with more conspicuous consumption. The moves last week were slightly muted with analysts expecting further gains in Japanese equities.

The FTSE100 and FTSE250 indices were flat on the week as news that business activity expanded more than consensus although consumer confidence dipped as consumers fret about persistent

inflation. The fall in the energy price cap in April and forecasts that the Band of England will cut rates three time this year, starting Q3 might help improve sentiment in the weeks ahead.


EURUSD +0.43 +0.40%

GBPUSD +0.63 +0.50%

USDJPY +0.30 +0.20%


The US Dollar slipped last closer to the lows for February and the re-adjustment in interest rate outlook ran its course. Speculation about when the ECB and BoE will cut rates being the driver last week.


Gold +22 +1.09%

UK OIL -1.87 -2.26%

US OIL -1.72 -2.20%


Crude oil fell last week with all the losses occurring Friday. Natural gas prices fell to levels see before the start of the Russian war against Ukraine in February 2021. Weaker demand due to warmer weather, economic slowdown in Europe and a sharp increase in LNG imports have all contributed to the gradual correction over the past two years.

Gold tracked -the US Dollar, gaining 22 US Dollar on the week as the US Dollar eased further.


What don’t we know….yet?

(What traders need to look out for in the week ahead)

The final week in February and the start of March. Aside from the fact that it is a leap-year this year which means we have 29 days in February, this week has few key releases. The highlights include US consumer confidence and Personal Consumption Expenditure data plus Eurozone inflation and RBNZ rate decision.



No key data today



US Core durable Goods orders. Excludes transportation items such as autos and planes, which are big ticket items that distorts the data. Core rate expected +0.2%. USD Sensitive.

US Conference Board Consumer Confidence. First of two consumer sentiment readings this week. Persistent inflation may dent confidence although the record high stock markets may offset this.



New Zealand RBNZ rate decision. No change expected as most central banks consider whether to cut rates as inflation heads back towards targeted rates. Swap rates have firmed over the past month which makes rate cuts less certain.

US Prelim GDP reading- Second reading for Q4 GDP. No change expected from +3.3% reading.

G20 Start of two-day G20 meetings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A large talking shop that has little to impact on markets.



Germany Prelim CPI month on month expected +0.5%.

US Core PCE inflation data. Closely watched by Federal reserve. Expected at +0.4% USD and US sensitive to this release.



China Manufacturing PMI – State and Caixin released together. Both Expected marginally lower compared to last month.

US ISM Manufacturing PMI data. Inching higher towards recovery level at 50.

US Revised University of Michigan Consumer sentiment. Never seen it revised but any revision could affect USD.