Market Watch: Markets have taken a break

Financial and commodity markets analytics

April began with significant volatility, which appeared to escalate this week before finding some relief by Thursday's session. The dollar's fervor has cooled, partly due to cautionary remarks from Japan, South Korea, and the United States regarding potential destabilization of currency dynamics in Asia.
U.S. stock futures dipped, with the NASDAQ experiencing a more than 1% decline.
Despite tensions in the Middle East and robust U.S. economic indicators, U.S. crude prices retreated by about 6.5% from their 2024 highs set on Friday.

Asia Pacific markets
Attention is on the G7 and G20 finance chiefs gathered in Washington for the International Monetary Fund meetings. They issued a rare joint statement committing to "close consultation" on foreign exchange markets, addressing concerns raised by Tokyo and Seoul over recent sharp depreciations of their currencies.
Although the dollar/yen pair eased slightly from its 34-year highs, it remains elevated above 154, while South Korea's won stepped back from its weakest point in nearly 18 months.
There's also relief as China reiterates its commitment to maintaining stability in the yuan exchange rate, allaying fears of a competitive regional currency devaluation.

European markets
European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos emphasized the possibility of interest rate cuts in June, signaling a potentially dovish stance.
While the Euro and Sterling saw modest gains, the British pound appears more susceptible to downside risks.

American markets
The U.S. Big Tech reporting season kicks off with streaming giant Netflix. U.S. stock futures show slight strength ahead of the opening bell, but the VIX volatility index remains elevated above 18. This comes after four consecutive daily losses for the S&P500, culminating in nearly a 5% decline from its recent all-time high at the end of last month.

Bitcoin stabilizes after a month-long decline, which saw it dip to six-week lows below $60,000 on Wednesday, with the impact of this week's 'halving' event looks already largely priced in.