Daily Market Commentary 29th March 2024

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Good Friday and Easter celebrations will mean markets are closed across most Western economies, for a four-day weekend. Two shortened trading weeks in succession. The week gone by has been lacklustre, with no major economic data surprises, while equity markets closing out the Q1 on a positive note. Stock markets across Western economies have celebrated the apparent victory over inflation forward, now looking forward to easing monetary conditions and lower interest rates for the coming year. The Federal Reserve have forecast 2 or 3 rate cuts this calendar year and the likelihood is that the Bank of England and the ECB will follow suit. European economies have been suffering severe recessionary conditions, with the latest UK GDP numbers confirming a recession. UK GDP contracted for the second quarter in succession, with Q4 confirming a contraction of 0.3%. The Easter Break could be a time of reflection and consolidation, as markets reopen for another shortened trading week. The US Dollar was steady, with the EUR slipping below 1.0800, while the GBP consolidated above 1.2600.

The AUD maintained trading above 0.6500, while the NZD continued to fall, stumbling to 0.5960. NZ Business Confidence has been resurgent for Q4 2023 and Q1 2024, welcoming the new coalition Governments new economic management, but this drifted lower in the latest reading. The harsh realities of the legacy economic conditions are playing out in the historical economic data and makes for some very sobering reading. GDP growth numbers have reflected a deep recession, with 4 of the last 5 quarters in negative contraction.  It will take some time and diligent economic management to right the ship.

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