PBOC head Xiaochuan said China’s growth rate was not fast enough and that policy makers have room to move with both interest rates and QE measures. The Nikkei 225 climbed +0.65% and the Shanghai Composite jumped +2.62%.
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The Eurozone Mar. business climate and economic confidence indexes rose more than expected. The picture for Greece is still cloudy, but the German DAX once again topped 12,000 and was up +1.83%.
While an increase of +0.4% in Personal Income for February was a pleasant surprise, Personal Spending (+0.1%) was up less than expected. The PCE Prices (+0.2% headline, +0.1% core) were in line with expectations. Pending Home Sales (+3.1%) reflected the highest level since June 2013, although Feb. was revised lower.
Crude was unable to find direction, moving higher and lower as comments emerged regarding the potential for the removal of Iranian sanctions and over the potential impact of the conflict in Yemen. It finished down -0.4% at $48.68. 10-Year Note yields were flat, but the US$ again moved higher and gold fell back to $1184.80.
After staging a strong rally at the open, equities traded sideways on light volume. At the close, markets were broadly higher.